Article: article from journal or magazin.
Cefepime monotherapy for the empirical treatment of fever in granulocytopenic cancer patients.
The Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
32 Suppl B
Publication types: Clinical Trial ; Journal Article
In a pilot study, we evaluated the efficacy and the safety of cefepime, a new cephalosporin with extended-spectrum activity against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, as empirical monotherapy for 108 febrile episodes in 84 granulocytopenic cancer patients. Cefepime (2 g tds) was given for a minimum of 7 days or until resolution of infection. Of the 108 episodes, 91 were evaluable. Microbiologically documented infections occurred in 25 patients (27%) (18 Gram-positive, 7 Gram-negative), of whom 18 had bacteraemia. Infection was clinically documented in 47 patients (52%) and fever was unexplained in 19 (21%). Overall, 71% (65/91) of the infections resolved. Response rates were 86% (6/7) for Gram-negative infections, 44% (8/18) for Gram-positive infections (57% for cefepime-susceptible Gram-positive bacteria), 77% (36/47) for clinically documented infections and 79% (15/19) for unexplained fevers. Of the 26 patients (29%) whose primary infections did not improve with cefepime monotherapy, 23 responded after the addition of other antibiotics. Sixteen patients (18%) developed secondary infections of which 13 were microbiologically documented; Gram-positive bacteria were isolated from seven patients, Gram-negative bacteria from two, fungi from three and a virus from one. Adverse effects were mild and did not require premature discontinuation of therapy except for one patient who developed an immediate allergic reaction after the first dose of cefepime from which he recovered fully. The survival rate after resolution of granulocytopenia was 96%; three patients died of primary bacterial infection and one from secondary disseminated candidiasis. In this pilot study, cefepime monotherapy appeared safe and effective as empirical therapy for fever in cancer patients with granulocytopenia. Whether cefepime is superior to other advanced-generation cephalosporins for the treatment of Gram-positive infections will require evaluation in a larger comparative study.
Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Agranulocytosis/complications, Agranulocytosis/etiology, Bacterial Infections/drug therapy, Bacterial Infections/microbiology, Cephalosporins/adverse effects, Cephalosporins/therapeutic use, Female, Fever/drug therapy, Fever/etiology, Humans, Leukocyte Count, Male, Middle Aged, Neoplasms/complications, Pilot Projects, Prospective Studies
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