Salvage therapy with voriconazole for invasive fungal infections in patients failing or intolerant to standard antifungal therapy

Author:

Baden LR, Katz JT, Fishman JA, Koziol C, DelVecchio A, Doran M, Rubin RH

Date: 20 January 2004

Abstract:

BACKGROUND: Invasive fungal infections (IFI), particularly those caused by Aspergillus and other angioinvasive molds, are associated with an excessive mortality despite therapy. METHODS: Voriconazole was prescribed on a compassionate basis to patients with IFI who were intolerant to or who had progressed despite standard therapy. Outcome was determined by protocol-based criteria as established by the consensus definitions (complete response [CR], partial response [PR], stable disease, failure, and intolerance). RESULTS: Forty-five patients were enrolled in a compassionate release program (29 [64%] because of failure of response to standard therapy), between 1998 and 2002. Of the 45 patients enrolled, 35 (78%) had invasive Aspergillus, 3 (7%) had Fusarium, and 2 (4%) had Scedosporium infections. Underlying illnesses were as follows: 13 (29%) solid-organ transplant (SOT), 11 (24%) BMT, and 7 (13%) hematologic malignancy. Site of infection was as follows: 26 (58%) pulmonary, 9 (20%) disseminated, 5 (11%) central nervous system (CNS), and 3 (7%) sinus. Overall response rates were as follows: 9 (20%) CR, 17 (38%) PR, 15 (33%) failure, and 4 (9%) intolerant. Seven of the eight (88%) patients with sinus or CNS disease demonstrated stabilization of the IFI. The median duration of voriconazole therapy was 79 days with 9 (20%) patients receiving over 1 year of therapy. Nine thousand one hundred twenty-eight days of therapy were given with only four serious adverse events in two cases considered possibly or probably drug related. CONCLUSIONS: In this population of severely immunocompromised patients with life-threatening IFI who have failed or were intolerant to standard antifungal therapy, voriconazole demonstrated substantial efficacy and an acceptable level of toxicity.

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