Greater Glasgow and Clyde Medicines

Cancer Treatment and COVID-19

Patients receiving Systemic Anti-Cancer Therapy (SACT) with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 

Patients who develop COVID-19 are at risk of developing a dangerous hyper-inflammatory state (cytokine storm), which involves release of a range of inflammatory markers, including Granulocyte Colony Stimulating Factor (GCSF). Concurrently administering GCSF injections e.g. filgrastim / pegfilgrastim may potentiate this risk.

For more information, see the 'Guidelines for use of GCSF in adult patients receiving systemic anti-cancer treatment (SACT)' on the the West of Scotland Cancer Network (WoSCAN) website (available via NHS network).

Key points:

  • GCSF must be withheld in patients with suspected and confirmed COVID-19 and discussed with the on-call haemato-oncology or oncology team.
  • Patients must be advised to withhold their GCSF injections and seek urgent medical advice if they develop any symptoms of COVID-19.
  • In line with general advice for all hospitalised patients, oral anti-cancer medicines, including chemotherapy and biological modifiers, should be withheld in all circumstances until advice is sought from the on-call haemato-oncology or oncology team.


Published 15/06/2020. Medicines Update blogs are correct at the time of publication.