Chemotherapy Drug Update

While chemotherapy can be a beneficial treatment for cancer patients, it can also lead to severe infections.

Almost half of the 1.3 million cancer patients in the U.S. receiving chemotherapy are at risk of developing neutropenia.

That's a shortage of infection fighting white blood cells.

Now the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved an update to the neulasta label that will help physicians protect their cancer patients.

The approval is based on a study that demonstrated administering neulasta in the first cycle of chemotherapy reduced the incidence of "febril neutropenia" by 94 percent.

Neulasta is a prescription medication that helps the body maintain white blood cell count to help protect against chemotherapy-related infections.

Those infections may result in hospitalization and the need for additional medication.

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