Intensification of chemotherapy, particularly scheduling, has the potential to eradicate tumor cells. Dose-limiting myelotoxicity can be prevented to varying degrees by the administration of hematopoietic growth factors, particularly granulocyte colony-stimulating factor, granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor, and interleukin-3. Combinations of growth factors are even more effective in reducing the duration of neutropenia and, to a lesser extent, thrombocytopenia. Autologous bone marrow transplantation and peripheral blood 'stem cell rescue' in combination with cytokine therapy is currently the most effective procedure for combating the adverse consequences of myelo-ablative therapy.
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