Vol 51, No 3 (2020)
Published online: 2020-09-01

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Efficacy of keratinocyte growth factor in prevention of oral mucositis in children undergoing allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation

Natalia Bartoszewicz1, Krzysztof Czyżewski1, Robert Dębski1, Anna Krenska1, Ewa Demidowicz1, Monika Richert-Przygońska1, Mariusz Wysocki1, Jan Styczyński1
DOI: 10.2478/ahp-2020-0030
Acta Haematol Pol 2020;51(3):172-178.



Oral mucositis is regarded by patients as one of the worst and debilitating complications of conditioning and hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). Prevention of mucositis is one of the priorities of supportive therapy during and after conditioning.


The primary objective of the study was the analysis of efficacy of keratinocyte growth factor (KGF, palifermin) used in prophylaxis of oral mucositis in patients undergoing allo-HCT. The secondary objectives of the study included the analysis of the influence of palifermin on clinical course of oral mucositis and early transplant outcomes, as well as analysis of the contraindications of palifermin in patients undergoing allo-HCT.

Patients and methods

A total number of 253 allo-HCT performed between 2003 and 2018 in patients aged 0–19 years in a single center were analyzed. Overall, in 161 HCTs, palifermin was administered.


Patients receiving KGF were transplanted earlier in the context of calendar year, and more often received ATG, mainly due to the higher rate of unrelated donor transplants. Allo-HCT patients who were administered palifermin had shorter time of mucositis (median: 9 vs. 13 days, < 0.001), lower mucositis grade (median: 2° vs. 3°; < 0.001), shorter period of total parenteral nutrition (median: 19 vs. 22 days; = 0.018), and lower incidence of episodes of febrile neutropenia (median: 39.1% vs. 83.1%; < 0.001).


The use of palifermin has decreased duration and severity of oral mucositis in children after allo-HCT. Palifermin is a safe and well-tolerated compound in children undergoing allo-HCT.

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