Empiric versus pre-emptive antifungal strategy in high-risk neutropenic patients on fluconazole prophylaxis: a randomized trial of the European organization for Research and Treatment of cancer (EORTC 65091)

Link to article at PubMed

Clin Infect Dis. 2022 Jul 30:ciac623. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciac623. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Empiric antifungal therapy is considered the standard-of-care for high-risk neutropenic patients with persistent fever. The impact of a pre-emptive, diagnostic-driven approach based on galactomannan (GM) screening and chest CT-scan on demand on survival and on the risk of invasive fungal disease (IFD) during the first weeks of high-risk neutropenia is unknown.

METHODS: Patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplant recipients were randomly assigned to receive caspofungin empirically (Arm A) or pre-emptively (Arm B). All patients received fluconazole 400 mg daily as prophylaxis. The primary endpoint of this non-inferiority study was overall survival (OS) 42 days after randomization.

RESULTS: Of 556 patients recruited, 549 were eligible: 275 in Arm A, 274 in Arm B. Eighty percent of the patients had AML or MDS requiring high-dose chemotherapy and 93% of them were in first induction phase. At day 42, the OS was not inferior in Arm B (96.7%; 95% confidence interval (CI), 93.8 - 98.3%) when compared to Arm A (93.1%; 95% CI, 89.3 - 95.5%). The rates of IFDs at day 84 were not significantly different, 7.7% (95%CI, 4.5-10.8%) in Arm B versus 6.6% (95%CI, 3.6-9.5%) in Arm A, respectively. The rate of patients receiving caspofungin was significantly lower in Arm B (27%) than in Arm A (63%) (p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: The pre-emptive antifungal strategy was safe for high-risk neutropenic patients given fluconazole as prophylaxis, halving the number of patients receiving antifungals without excess mortality or IFDs.

PMID:35906831 | DOI:10.1093/cid/ciac623

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *