Infections and association with different intensity of chemotherapy in children with acute myeloid leukemia


Sung L, Gamis A, Alonzo TA, Buxton A, Britton K, Deswarte-Wallace J, Woods WG

Date: 11 June 2009


BACKGROUND: The objectives were to compare infections during different intensities of therapy in children with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). METHODS: Subjects were children enrolled in Children’s Cancer Group 2891 with AML. In phase 1 (induction), patients were randomized to intensive or standard timing. In phase 2 (consolidation), those with a family donor were allocated allogeneic stem cell transplantation (SCT); the remainder were randomized to autologous SCT or chemotherapy. This report compares infections between different treatments on an intent-to-treat basis. RESULTS: During phase 1, intensive timing was associated with more bacterial (57.7% vs 39.4%; P < .001), fungal (27.4% vs 9.9%; P < .001), and viral (14.0% vs 3.9%; P < .001) infections compared with standard timing. During phase 2, chemotherapy was associated with more bacterial (56.5% vs 40.1%; P = .005), but similar fungal (9.5% vs 6.1%; P = 1.000) and viral (4.2% vs 12.9%; P = .728) infections compared with allogeneic SCT. No differences between chemotherapy and autologous SCT infections were seen. Fatal infections were more common during intensive compared with standard timing induction (5.5% vs 0.9%; P = .004). Infectious deaths were similar between chemotherapy, autologous SCT, and allogeneic SCT. CONCLUSIONS: Prevalence of infection varies depending on the intensity and type of treatment. This information sheds insight into the mechanisms behind susceptibility and outcome of infections in pediatric AML.

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