AbstractBACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: An increasing number of growth factors have been shown to be responsible for the proliferation, survival and enhanced function of many cell types within the hemopoietic system. The action of these hemopoietic growth factors in stimulating cell growth and survival applies both to cells within the progenitor compartment and mature cells. Whether a specific cytokine influences in vivo hematopoietic progenitor cell proliferation or survival depends on cytokine-mediated modulation or target cell cytokine receptors, cell proliferation, and cell death regulator genes and other pathways. To address these issues, particularly in view of the current and future clinical use of hemopoietic growth factors, the Italian Society of Experimental Hematology organized a Meeting in Florence on July 4th, 1996. INFORMATION SOURCES: The material examined in the present review includes full papers and abstracts published in journals covered by the Science Citation Index and Medline. All the participants to the Meeting in Florence have been actively working in the field of biology and clinical application of hemopoietic growth factors. Summaries of their oral presentations at the Florence Meeting are reported in the Appendix to this article. STATE OF ART AND PERSPECTIVES: Myelopoietic growth factors particularly granulocyte (G-) colony-stimulating factor (CSF) and granulocyte-macrophage (GM)-CSF, have been available for clinical use for only a few years but they have already markedly changed the management of chemotherapy-induced neutropenia, the use of dose-intensive chemotherapy regimens and the practice and safety of autologous stem cell transplantation. While these growth factors have been rapidly introduced as routine agents in the management of cancer patients, they have continued to generate a considerable amount of fundamental research into the biology of hematopoiesis as well as the growth regulation of normal and cancer cells. For instance, one goal of cancer treatment is to protect hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells from the damaging effects of chemotherapy, while maintaining their anticancer action. Any means of preferentially and reversibly suppressing the proliferation of normal hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells while leaving the proliferation of tumor cells and their susceptibility to chemotherapy unmodified, could potentially optimize treatment efficacy. In this field, the possibility of using colony-stimulating factors as myeloprotective agents in dose-intensive chemotherapy to enhance anticancer activity could be an attractive goal of current anti-cancer treatment modalities.
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Vol. 82 No. 5 (1997): September, 1997 : Congresses
Ferrata Storti Foundation, Pavia, Italy
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