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Neulasta

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Neulasta

CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY

Mechanism of Action

Pegfilgrastim is a colony-stimulating factor that acts on hematopoietic cells by binding to specific cell surface receptors, thereby stimulating proliferation, differentiation, commitment, and end cell functional activation.

Pharmacokinetics

The pharmacokinetics of pegfilgrastim were studied in 379 patients with cancer. The pharmacokinetics of pegfilgrastim were nonlinear and clearance decreased with increases in dose. Neutrophil receptor binding is an important component of the clearance of pegfilgrastim, and serum clearance is directly related to the number of neutrophils. In addition to numbers of neutrophils, body weight appeared to be a factor. Patients with higher body weights experienced higher systemic exposure to pegfilgrastim after receiving a dose normalized for body weight. A large variability in the pharmacokinetics of pegfilgrastim was observed. The half-life of Neulasta ranged from 15 to 80 hours after subcutaneous injection.

No gender-related differences were observed in the pharmacokinetics of pegfilgrastim, and no differences were observed in the pharmacokinetics of geriatric patients ( ≥ 65 years of age) compared with younger patients ( < 65 years of age) [see Use In Specific Populations]. The pharmacokinetics of pegfilgrastim were studied in pediatric patients with sarcoma [see Use In Specific Populations]. Renal dysfunction had no effect on the pharmacokinetics of pegfilgrastim. [see Use in Specific Populations]. The pharmacokinetic profile in patients with hepatic insufficiency has not been assessed.

Clinical Studies

Neulasta was evaluated in three randomized, double-blind, controlled studies. Studies 1 and 2 were active-controlled studies that employed doxorubicin 60 mg/m² and docetaxel 75 mg/m² administered every 21 days for up to 4 cycles for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer. Study 1 investigated the utility of a fixed dose of Neulasta. Study 2 employed a weight-adjusted dose. In the absence of growth factor support, similar chemotherapy regimens have been reported to result in a 100% incidence of severe neutropenia (ANC < 0.5 x 109/L) with a mean duration of 5 to 7 days and a 30% to 40% incidence of febrile neutropenia. Based on the correlation between the duration of severe neutropenia and the incidence of febrile neutropenia found in studies with filgrastim, duration of severe neutropenia was chosen as the primary endpoint in both studies, and the efficacy of Neulasta was demonstrated by establishing comparability to filgrastim-treated patients in the mean days of severe neutropenia.

In Study 1, 157 patients were randomized to receive a single subcutaneous injection of Neulasta (6 mg) on day 2 of each chemotherapy cycle or daily subcutaneous filgrastim (5 mcg/kg/day) beginning on day 2 of each chemotherapy cycle. In Study 2, 310 patients were randomized to receive a single subcutaneous injection of Neulasta (100 mcg/kg) on day 2 or daily subcutaneous filgrastim (5 mcg/kg/day) beginning on day 2 of each chemotherapy cycle.

Both studies met the major efficacy outcome measure of demonstrating that the mean days of severe neutropenia of Neulasta-treated patients did not exceed that of filgrastim-treated patients by more than 1 day in cycle 1 of chemotherapy. The mean days of cycle 1 severe neutropenia in Study 1 were 1.8 days in the Neulasta arm compared to 1.6 days in the filgrastim arm [difference in means 0.2 (95% CI -0.2, 0.6)] and in Study 2 were 1.7 days in the Neulasta arm compared to 1.6 days in the Filgrastim arm [difference in means 0.1 (95% CI -0.2, 0.4)]. A secondary endpoint in both studies was days of severe neutropenia in cycles 2 through 4 with results similar to those for cycle 1.

Study 3 was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study that employed docetaxel 100 mg/m² administered every 21 days for up to 4 cycles for the treatment of metastatic or non-metastatic breast cancer. In this study, 928 patients were randomized to receive a single subcutaneous injection of Neulasta (6 mg) or placebo on day 2 of each chemotherapy cycle. Study 3 met the major trial outcome measure of demonstrating that the incidence of febrile neutropenia (defined as temperature ≥ 38.2°C and ANC ≤ 0.5 x109/L) was lower for Neulasta-treated patients as compared to placebo-treated patients (1% versus 17%, respectively, p < 0.001). The incidence of hospitalizations (1% versus 14%) and IV anti-infective use (2% versus 10%) for the treatment of febrile neutropenia was also lower in the Neulasta-treated patients compared to the placebo-treated patients.

Last reviewed on RxList: 6/4/2012
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

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