Fred Hutch Receives Multimillion Dollar Cancer Research Grant from PCORI

Project to research better way to treat neutropenia is 1 of 5 to get latest funding from Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute.

Most people know about common chemotherapy side effects like hair loss and nausea. But another common side effect is neutropenia, an abnormally low white cell count that can lead to fever and infection and land cancer patients in the hospital or even result in their death.

To fend off neutropenia, oncologists will often prescribe a biologic known as a primary prophylactic colony-stimulating factor, or PP-CSF, that helps boost a patient’s white cell count. But not all doctors use the same criteria to evaluate which patients get this drug and which don’t.

As a result, some cancer patients receive this medication when they don’t really require it and suffer needless side effects like severe bone pain. Other patients don’t receive it at all and endure far more serious consequences: fever, infection, hospitalization and the associated financial burden.

Thanks to a new $7.75 million research award, however, we will have an improved understanding of the neutropenia puzzle and better ways to reduce complications and improve the quality of patient care.

Complete press release at Fred Hutch News: