The following article features coverage from the European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress 2021. Click here to read more of Hematology Advisor’s conference coverage.

According to the results of a study presented during the European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress 2021, corticosteroids appeared to have a benefit in the treatment of mild to moderate chemotherapy-induced thrombocytopenia (CIT), but not severe CIT.

The retrospective study aimed to assess whether corticosteroids have a positive impact on the outcome of CIT (platelet count ≤100,000/μL after chemotherapy). The investigators reviewed all cases of patients with thoracic malignancies who experienced thrombocytopenia after chemotherapy at a single center between 2015 and 2021, excluding cases with other likely causes, such as concurrent radiotherapy and extensive bone marrow involvement.

For the analysis, patients were grouped according to receipt of corticosteroids (CS-treated and non-CS-treated). The median duration of CIT was evaluated, and a focused analysis on patients with severe CIT (defined as platelet count ≤50,000/μL) was conducted.

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A total of 174 patients experienced any-grade CIT. Of whom, 132 (75.9%) experienced mild to moderate CIT and 42 (24.1%) experienced severe CIT. Corticosteroids were administered to 82 (47.1%) patients. The mean (standard deviation [SD]) duration of CIT was 5.12 (4.16) days in the CS-treated group and 6.95 (6.6) days in the non-CS-treated group (P =.03).

Among the cases of severe CIT, corticosteroids were administered to 32 (76.2%) patients. The mean (SD) duration of severe CIT was 6.78 (5.66) days in the CS-treated group and 7 (3.13) days in the non-CS-treated group (P =.91).

“With the limit of a retrospective evaluation, we observed that [corticosteroids] might have a benefit in mild-to-moderate CIT, whereas they seem to be ineffective in case of severe CIT,” wrote the authors. “Our data should be validated in ad hoc prospective trials to better determine the real impact of [corticosteroids] on CIT.”

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Sbrana A, Lucchesi M, Cappelli S, et al. Efficacy of corticosteroids in the treatment of chemotherapy-induced thrombocytopenia. Presented at: European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress 2021; September 16-21, 2021. Abstract 1693P.