AXIS: a trial of intravenous granulocyte colony-stimulating factor in acute ischemic stroke

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Neurology

Publication Date


Document Type



Aged; Aged, 80 and over; Cell Count; Dose-Response Relationship, Drug; Double-Blind Method; Feasibility Studies; Female; Germany; Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factor; effects; Humans; Injections, Intravenous; Leukocytes; Male; Middle Aged; Stroke; Treatment Outcome


Neurology | Neuroscience and Neurobiology


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) is a promising stroke drug candidate. The present phase IIa study assessed safety and tolerability over a broad dose range of G-CSF doses in acute ischemic stroke patients and explored outcome data.

METHODS: Four intravenous dose regimens (total cumulative doses of 30-180 mug/kg over the course of 3 days) of G-CSF were tested in 44 patients in a national, multicenter, randomized, placebo-controlled dose escalation study (NCT00132470; www.clinicaltrial.gov). Main inclusion criteria were a 12-hour time window after stroke onset, infarct localization to the middle cerebral artery territory, a baseline National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale range of 4 to 22, and presence of diffusion-weighted imaging/perfusion-weighted imaging mismatch.

RESULTS: Concerning the primary safety end points, we observed no increase of thromboembolic events in the active treatment groups, and no increase in related serious adverse events. G-CSF led to expected increases in neutrophils and monocytes that resolved rapidly after end of treatment. We observed a clinically insignificant drug-related decrease of platelets. As expected from the low number of patients, we did not observe significant differences in clinical outcome in treatment vs. placebo. In exploratory analyses, we observed an interesting dose-dependent beneficial effect of treatment in patients with DWI lesions > 14-17 cm(3).

CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that G-CSF was well-tolerated even at high dosages in patients with acute ischemic stroke, and that a substantial increase in leukocytes appears not problematic in stroke patients. In addition, exploratory analyses suggest treatment effects in patients with larger baseline diffusion-weighted imaging lesions. The obtained data provide the basis for a second trial aimed to demonstrate safety and efficacy of G-CSF on clinical end points.

DOI of Published Version



Stroke. 2010 Nov;41(11):2545-51. Epub 2010 Oct 14. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Stroke; a journal of cerebral circulation

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Link to Article in PubMed

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