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CLL Support Association
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Neupogen the first drug to gain FDA approval to treat radiation sickness

Those of us that have had severe neutropenia, either as a result of their CLL or from treatment for CLL and have been prescribed Neupogen to boost their neutrophil count, may find this Gizmag article of interest. "A drug long-used to counter the negative effects of chemotherapy has won US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for use in treating the nasty effects of exposure to radiation following a nuclear disaster. Known commercially as Neupogen, the drug has been shown to work by shielding the body's white blood cells to heighten a patient's chances of survival." Scarily eye catch headlines and introductions aside, it's interesting to know that a commonly prescribed drug during CLL treatment has gained this approval:


Here's a bit more information about Neupogen:


The article mentions that filgrastim/neupogen can boost platelet production, of which I wasn't aware, but some further searching led me to this interesting article :


So now those undergoing chemotherapy can be much more relaxed, knowing that they have a better chance of surviving a nuclear accident :)


6 Replies

Interesting ... wonder the effect upon radiotherapy....?

Here is the original study...


Wonderful photo Neil!



Thanks Neil, and Chris for the links. Quite a long read for someone needing to read it while administering G-CSF to boost the neutrophils the chemo has wiped out.

Not CLL treatment, but ovarian cancer treatment which seems to be having no effect on the cll nodes.

All will become clearer if I ever finish my chemo and have a ct scan. I have my normal haematology appointment in July, be interesting to have those results.


Yes, great shot Neil.


Bub, I hope the G-CSF soon kicks those neutrophils into action, so you can finish your chemo. A pity that the ovarian cancer chemo did not also help your CLL nodes. Do let us know the results of your CT scan.

thinking of you,


P.S. I agree it's an amazing photo of Neil's. Seems to symbolise something... maybe light at the end of the tunnel, or sun shining behind the clouds... Or just hope.. .


Bub, it would be great if your CT scan shows a reduction in your nodes after the difficulties you've gone through with the ovarian cancer treatment.

Glad you liked the photo. It was a fortuitous circumstance - a late afternoon, looking West over a flat landscape from a slight hill, with this hole through the clouds in the distance... Looks like I took it from a plane, but I was definitely well grounded for that photo.



I've just realised that Neupogen and Filgrastim are other names for G-CSF. Duh... Anyway, Bub, I just hope the injections work for you, and you don't get any of the side effects listed.



Interesting. The US military (along with others) has done a fair bit of research about the use of pentoxifylline plus vitamin E for protection against radiation sickness (read, "dirty bombs").

Keep in mind that pentoxifylline also enhances apoptosis in CLL (apparently through the phosphodiesterase 4 inhibitor pathway) -- and reduces anemia via reduction of red cell fragility.


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