BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Medical Policy Manual

Sargramostim (Leukine®)


00024-5843-XX LEUKINE 250MCG Solution Reconstituted (PARTNER THERAPEUTICS)


Sargramostim is a recombinant human granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor (rGM-CSF) produced by recombinant DNA technology in a yeast (S. cerevisiae) expression system. Like endogenous GM-CSF, rGM-CSF is a hematopoietic growth factor which stimulates proliferation and differentiation of hematopoietic progenitor cells in the granulocyte-macrophage pathways which include neutrophils, monocytes/macrophages and myeloid-derived dendritic cells.  It is also capable of activating mature granulocytes and macrophages.  Various cellular responses such as division, maturation and activation are induced by GM-CSF binding to specific receptors expressed on the cell surface of target cells. 


·         Sargramostim for the treatment of the following is considered medically necessary:

·         Sargramostim for the treatment of chemotherapy-induced febrile neutropenia is considered medically necessary if the medical appropriateness criteria are met. (See Medical Appropriateness below.)

·         Sargramostim for the treatment of other conditions/diseases is considered investigational. 



Myeloid reconstitution after autologous or allogeneic bone marrow transplant (BMT)

Peripheral Blood Progenitor Cell (PBPC) mobilization and transplant

Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) following induction or consolidation chemotherapy

Bone Marrow Transplantation (BMT) failure or Engraftment Delay

Treatment of chemotherapy-induced febrile neutropenia

·         Used for the treatment of chemotherapy induced febrile neutropenia in patients who have not received prophylactic therapy with a granulocyte colony stimulating factor; AND

·         Patient has one or more of the following risk factors for developing infection-related complications:

ù  Sepsis Syndrome

ù  Age greater than 65 years

ù  Absolute neutrophil count [ANC] less than 100/mcL

ù  Duration of neutropenia expected to be greater than 10 days

ù  Pneumonia or other clinically documented infections

ù  Invasive fungal infection

ù  Hospitalization at the time of fever

ù  Prior episode of febrile neutropenia

Patients acutely exposed to myelosuppressive doses of radiation (Hematopoietic Subsyndrome of Acute Radiation Syndrome [H-ARS])

High-Risk Neuroblastoma

·         Used in combination with GD2-binding monoclonal antibodies (i.e., naxitamab, dinutuximab, etc.) for the treatment of high-risk neuroblastoma


High-Risk Neuroblastoma

·         Use in combination with dinutuximab may not be renewed.

·         Used in combination with naxitamab; AND

All Other Indications

·         Same as the Initial Approval Criteria

·         Absence of toxicity or adverse reactions, including serious allergic or anaphylactic reaction to recombinant protein.




Acute Exposure to Myelosuppressive Doses of Radiation

·         7 mcg/kg in adult and pediatric patients weighing greater than 40 kg

·         10 mcg/kg in pediatric patients weighing 15 kg to 40 kg

·         12 mcg/kg in pediatric patients weighing less than 15 kg

ù  Administer Leukine as soon as possible after suspected or confirmed exposure to radiation doses greater than 2 gray (Gy).

High-Risk Neuroblastoma

In combination with naxitamab

250 mcg/m2 subcutaneously daily for 5 doses starting 5 days prior to the day 1 of naxitamab infusion followed by sargramostim 500 mcg/m2 subcutaneously daily on days 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 repeated each cycle in combination with naxitamab.

Note: Treatment cycles are repeated every 4 weeks until complete or partial response, followed by 5 additional cycles (every 4 weeks). Subsequent cycles may be repeated every 8 weeks. Discontinue (naxitamab and GM-CSF) with disease progression or unacceptable toxicity.

In combination with dinutuximab

250 mcg/m2 daily on days 1 through 14 of cycles 1, 3 and 5 (cycle length is 24 days) for a maximum of 5 cycles only

All other indications

250 mcg/m2 daily for up to 14 days


High Risk Neuroblastoma:

·         When used in combination with dinutuximab, coverage will be provided for five months and may not be renewed.

·         When used in combination with naxitamab, coverage will be provided for six months and may be renewed.

All other indications: Coverage will be provided for four months and may be renewed


Max Units (per dose and over time) [HCPCS Unit]:

·         15 billable units per day (acute radiation syndrome)

·         10 billable units per day on days 1 through 14 of cycles 1, 3 and 5 (cycle length is 24 days) for a maximum of 5 cycles only (high-risk neuroblastoma in combination with dinutuximab)

·         10 billable units per day for 10 days of each 28-day cycle for six cycles followed by subsequent cycles every 8 weeks thereafter (high-risk neuroblastoma in combination with naxitamab)

·         10 billable units per day (all other indications)


BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee’s Medical Policy complies with Tennessee Code Annotated Section 56-7-2352 regarding coverage of off-label indications of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved drugs when the off-label use is recognized in one of the statutorily recognized standard reference compendia or in the published peer-reviewed medical literature.


We develop Medical Policies to provide guidance to Members and Providers.  This Medical Policy relates only to the services or supplies described in it.  The existence of a Medical Policy is not an authorization, certification, explanation of benefits or a contract for the service (or supply) that is referenced in the Medical Policy.  For a determination of the benefits that a Member is entitled to receive under his or her health plan, the Member's health plan must be reviewed.  If there is a conflict between the Medical Policy and a health plan, the express terms of the health plan will govern.


For appropriate chemotherapy regimens, dosage information, contraindications, precautions, warnings, and monitoring information, please refer to one of the standard reference compendia (e.g., the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®) published by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network®, Drugdex Evaluations of Micromedex Solutions at Truven Health, or The American Hospital Formulary Service Drug Information).


1.     Leukine [package insert]. Bridgewater, NJ; Sanofi-Aventis U.S. LLC; March 2018. Accessed March 2021.

2.     Referenced with permission from the NCCN Drugs & Biologics Compendium (NCCN Compendium®) sargramostim. National Comprehensive Cancer Network, 2021. The NCCN Compendium® is a derivative work of the NCCN Guidelines®. NATIONAL COMPREHENSIVE CANCER NETWORK®, NCCN®, and NCCN GUIDELINES® are trademarks owned by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, Inc. To view the most recent and complete version of the Compendium, go online to Accessed March 2021.

3.     Arora M, Burns LJ, Barker JN, et al. Randomized comparison of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor versus granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor plus intensive chemotherapy for peripheral blood stem cell mobilization and autologous transplantation in multiple myeloma. Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2004;10(6):395-404.

4.     Berghmans T, Paesmans M, Lafitte JJ, et al. Therapeutic use of granulocyte and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factors in febrile neutropenic cancer patients. A systematic review of the literature with meta-analysis. Support Care Cancer. 2002;10(3):181-188.

5.     Dubois RW, Pinto LA, Bernal M, et al. Benefits of GM-CSF versus placebo or G-CSF in reducing chemotherapy-induced complications: A systematic review of the literature. Support Cancer Ther. 2004;2(1):34-41.

6.     Nemunaitis J, Rosenfeld CS, Ash R, et al. Phase III randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled trial of rhGM-CSF following allogeneic bone marrow transplantation. Bone Marrow Transplant. 1995;15(6):949-954.

7.     Nemunaitis J, Singer JW, Buckner CD, et al. Use of recombinant human granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor in graft failure after bone marrow transplantation. Blood. 1990;76(1):245-253.

8.     Nemunaitis J, Buckner CD, Appelbaum FR et al. Phase I/II trial of recombinant human granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor following allogeneic bone marrow transplantation. Blood. 1991;77:2065-71.

9.     Nemunaitis J, Rabinowe SN, Singer JW et al. Recombinant granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor after autologous bone marrow transplantation for lymphoid cancer. N Engl J Med. 1991;324:1773-8.

10.  Rabinowe SN, Neuberg D, Bierman PJ et al. Long-term follow-up of a phase III study of recombinant human granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor after autologous bone marrow transplantation for lymphoid malignancies. Blood. 1993;81:1903-8.

11.  Rowe JN, Andersen JW, Mazza JJ et al. A randomized placebo-controlled phase III study of granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor in adult patients (> 55 to 70 years of age) with acute myelogenous leukemia: a study of the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (E1490). Blood. 1995;86:457-62.

12.  Danyelza [package insert]. New York, NY; Y-mAbs Therapeutics, Inc. ; November 2020. Accessed December 2020.

13.  Unituxin [package insert]. Silver Spring, MD; United Therapeutics Corp; September 2020. Accessed December 2020.

14.  Lexi-Comp Online. (2020, March). AHFS Dl. Sargramostim. Retrieved April 22, 2020 from Lexi¬ Comp Online with AHFS.

15.  MICROMEDEX Healthcare Series. Drugdex Evaluations. (2020, April) Sargramostim. Retrieved April 22, 2020 from MICROMEDEX Healthcare Series.




Policies included in the Medical Policy Manual are not intended to certify coverage availability. They are medical determinations about a particular technology, service, drug, etc. While a policy or technology may be medically necessary, it could be excluded in a member's benefit plan. Please check with the appropriate claims department to determine if the service in question is a covered service under a particular benefit plan. Use of the Medical Policy Manual is not intended to replace independent medical judgment for treatment of individuals. The content on this Web site is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice in any way. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider if you have questions regarding a medical condition or treatment.

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