The current knowledge and recommendations on the clinical use of granulocyte colony-stimulating factors (G-CSF) in gynecologic cancers including breast cancer, along with the clinical experience of the members of the working group of the Austrian Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Gynäkologische Onkologie (AGO), have been summarized. G-CSF is either administered as primary or secondary prophylaxis of febrile neutropenia. The term “primary prophylaxis” denotes the prophylactic use of G-CSF as early as during the first cycle of a new chemotherapeutic regimen. Secondary prophylaxis, on the other hand, defines the use of G-CSF after development of grade 4 neutropenia or febrile neutropenia in a preceding cycle of a particular chemotherapeutic regimen. When chemotherapy regimens are associated with a > 20 % risk of febrile neutropenia such as TAC (docetaxel–doxorubicin-cyclophosphamide), primary prophylaxis with G-CSF is indicated. When chemotherapy regimens are associated with a 10–20 % risk of febrile neutropenia, the decision for primary prophylaxis with G-CSF is based upon patient-related risk factors such as age > 65 years, previous cytotoxic treatment(s) and/or radiation therapy, preexisting tumor-related neutropenia or bone marrow involvement, preexisting neutropenia, infections/open sores, reduced Karnofsky performance status/WHO performance status and reduced nutritional status, advanced malignant disease, history of prior febrile neutropenia, impaired kidney function, and hepatic failure particularly with hyperbilirubinaemia. The patient’s individual overall febrile neutropenia risk should be assessed prior to each chemotherapy cycle.