Cosela May Decrease Chemo-Related Blood Complications During Lung Cancer Treatment

Cosela tended to decrease myelosuppressive events — when the bone marrow is not working sufficiently to produce blood cells and platelets — in patients receiving chemotherapy for extensive-stage small cell lung cancer.

Patients with extensive-stage small cell lung cancer tended to have fewer myelosuppressive events, when they received Cosela (trilaciclib) before chemotherapy, according to findings from phase 2 clinical trials.

“Myelosuppression is a major toxicity of chemotherapy treatment for patients with extensive-stage small cell lung cancer that often results in chemotherapy dose delays and dose reductions, both of which can compromise clinical outcomes,” Dr. Jerome Goldschmidt, medical oncologist with Blue Ridge Cancer Care in Blacksburg, VA, and lead study author, said in a press release.

Myelosuppression happens when activity in the bone marrow is decreased, which leads to fewer red and white blood cells, as well as platelets. The toxicity is commonly seen in patients taking certain chemotherapy agents, and can cause fever, chills, extreme fatigue, easy bruising and other side effects.

Read more: ‘A Breath of Fresh Air’: FDA’s Cosela Approval May Improve Quality of Life in Lung Cancer

In particular, Cosela decreased the following myelosuppressive events: severe neutropenia (when there are too few neutrophils, which are a type of white blood cell), anemia (too few red blood cells) and thrombocytopenia (too few platelets in the blood).

When given in the frontline setting for patients with extensive-stage small cell lung cancer, Cosela led to:

  • 75% reduction in severe neutropenia (56.7% with placebo, compared to 14.4% with Cosela)
  • 50% reduction in severe anemia (17.8% versus 8.9%)
  • 100% reduction in severe thrombocytopenia (12.2% versus 0%)

The drug also led to a decrease in concurrent (happening simultaneously or overlapping for at least one day) myelosuppressive events. Study findings showed:

  • 100% reduction in severe anemia, neutropenia and thrombocytopenia (2.2% with placebo compared to 0% with Cosela)
  • 100% reduction in severe neutropenia and thrombocytopenia (13.3% versus 0%)
  • 50% reduction in severe neutropenia and anemia (94.4% versus 2.2%)
  • 33% reduction in severe anemia and thrombocytopenia (3.3% versus 2.2%)

“Both the patients and the healthcare system at large bear the complications of myelosuppressive events such as neutropenia, anemia and thrombocytopenia, so it is imperative that we achieve clinically meaningful reductions in myelosuppression in multiple cell lineages and its consequences utilizing novel therapies such as Cosela,” Goldschmid said.

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