Our 24/7 cancer helpline provides information and answers for people dealing with cancer. We can connect you with trained cancer information specialists who will answer questions about a cancer diagnosis and provide guidance and a compassionate ear.
Chat live online
Select the Live Chat button at the bottom of the page
Our highly trained specialists are available 24/7 via phone and on weekdays can assist through video calls and online chat. We connect patients, caregivers, and family members with essential services and resources at every step of their cancer journey. Ask us how you can get involved and support the fight against cancer. Some of the topics we can assist with include:
Referrals to patient-related programs or resources
Donations, website, or event-related assistance
For medical questions, we encourage you to review our information with your doctor.
Hematopoietic growth factors are hormone-like substances that stimulate bone marrow to produce blood cells. These substances occur naturally in the body, but scientists have found a way to make them in large amounts. This lets patients get larger doses of these growth factors than their body would make. Growth factor drugs are usually given by subcutaneous (under the skin) injections (shots).
Shortages of blood cells cause many of the symptoms in people with chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML), and growth factors can help keep blood counts at more normal levels.
Erythropoietin (Epo® or Procrit®) is a growth factor that promotes red blood cell production. It can help some patients avoid getting a lot of red blood cell transfusions. Sometimes erythropoietin is given along with a growth factor for white blood cells (G-CSF, Neupogen®, or filgrastim) to improve the patient’s response to the erythropoietin. Darbepoetin (Aranesp®) is a long-acting form of erythropoietin. It works in the same way but can be given less often.
A drug called oprelvekin (Neumega®, interleukin-11, or IL-11) can be used to stimulate platelet production. This drug can help increase the platelet counts of some CMML patients for a time, but then the counts go down again. For most people with CMML, this drug is not very helpful.