Colorectal Cancer Coverage from Every Angle

Quality Care 2019: Initiative to Reduce CSF Overuse in Patients With Colorectal Cancer

By: Joseph Fanelli
Posted: Monday, September 9, 2019

In an attempt to reduce the overuse of colony-stimulating factors (CSF) to prevent febrile neutropenia among patients with cancer, researchers evaluated a program initiative aimed at determining prescribing patterns of CSF and chemotherapy dose reduction in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer. They reported their research findings at the 2019 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Quality Care Symposium (Abstract 24), suggesting that the program initiative significantly lowered the use of CSF and improved compliance to treatment guidelines as well.

“These findings could help prescribers adopt a cost-effective approach for this population, leading to enhanced clinical practice and value-based care,” concluded Kristin M. Richards, PhD, of the University of Texas, Austin, and colleagues.

In this retrospective study, the authors acquired data from the electronic health records of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer who were treated at a multicenter oncology practice network from July 2013 to December 2014 and from July 2017 to December 2017. In 2016, the network began the program initiative to inform patients on effective strategies to reduce the overuse of CSFs. The initiative employed educational materials to promote appropriate non-use and prior authorization strategies to help ease the financial strain of treatment on patients.

In total, the network administered 3,426 chemotherapy regimens to 2,968 patients. The authors identified 3,095 CSF administrations of pegfilgrastim among 343 CSF users.

The investigators also observed that among the patients who had corresponding data on chemotherapy dose reduction (508 patients), 58.7% were administered dose reductions. In the latter period when the program initiative began, CSF use was significantly lower than in the period before the initiative. Additionally, compliance to CSF guidelines was significantly higher in the latter period compared with the earlier period.

Disclosure: The study authors’ disclosure information may be found at

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