A new study of Immunex Corp.'s Leukine granulocytemacrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) showed thedrug improved bone marrow protection in sarcoma patientswho received GM-CSF following high-dose chemotherapy.

The Phase I/II study looked at patients with advanced sarcomawho experienced neutropenia, a condition of low white bloodcell production, after intensive chemotherapy.

The duration of severe neutropenia in two groups of patientswho received chemotherapy alone was 6.2 days and 6.8 days.When these patients then received three days of chemotherapyfollowed by GM-CSF, the duration of the neutropenia wasreduced to 2.8 days and 1.4 days.

Dr. Saroj Vadhan-Raj, assistant professor of medicine at theUniversity of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, presented thefindings Monday at the annual meeting of the American Societyof Clinical Oncology in Houston.

Seattle-based Immunex (NASDAQ:IMNX) and Amgen Inc.(NASDAQ:AMGN) of Thousand Oaks, Calif., are battling forshares of the market for colony stimulating factors.

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