Objectives: The analysis of epidemiology, risk factors and outcome of infections in children with malignant bone tumors (MBT) undergoing chemotherapy.
Methods: In this retrospective nationwide multicenter cross-sectional study, a total number of 126 children with MBT including 70 with Ewing sarcoma (ES) and 56 with osteosarcoma (OSA) were screened for infections over a period of 72 consecutive months.
Results: The risk of infection was 7.15-fold higher in patients with ES as compared to the OSA group, especially concerning bacterial infections (4.1-fold increase risk). Bacterial infections occurred in 74.3% patients with ES and in 41.1% with OSA. The median time from diagnosis to first infection was 4.9 months. 33.0% of bacterial episodes were diagnosed as bloodstream (BSI), 31.1% as gastrointestinal tract, 30.1% as urinary tract infection. Infection-related mortality (IRM) from bacterial infection was 6% and 15% in ES and OSA patients, respectively. Cumulative incidence was 7.1% for invasive fungal disease and 6.3% for viral infections. The only significant risk factor for IRM was time to infection ≥5 months since the beginning of chemotherapy. All patients who have died from infection had BSI and were in neutropenia.
Conclusions: Infections in the children with MBT in our study occurred with high frequency, especially in patients with ES. The most frequent were bacterial infections, while fungal and viral infections were episodic. Among the bacterial infections, bloodstream, urinary tract and gastrointestinal tract infections occurred with similar frequency. All deceased patients died due to BSI. Bacterial infection occurring ≥5 months since the beginning of chemotherapy was a risk factor for death.
Ewing sarcoma; children; infectious complications; malignant bone tumor; osteosarcoma; risk factors analysis