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1.  Comparison of itraconazole, voriconazole, and posaconazole as oral antifungal prophylaxis in pediatric patients following allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation 
Oral antifungal prophylaxis with extended-spectra azoles is widely used in pediatric patients after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), while controlled studies for oral antifungal prophylaxis after bone marrow transplantation in children are not available. This survey analyzed patients who had received either itraconazole, voriconazole, or posaconazole. We focused on the safety, feasibility, and initial data of efficacy in a cohort of pediatric patients and adolescents after high-dose chemotherapy and HSCT. Fifty consecutive pediatric patients received itraconazole, 50 received voriconazole, and 50 pediatric patients received posaconazole after HSCT as oral antifungal prophylaxis. The observation period lasted from the start of oral prophylactic treatment with itraconazole, voriconazole, or posaconazole until two weeks after terminating the oral antifungal prophylaxis. No incidences of proven or probable invasive mycosis were observed during itraconazole, voriconazole, or posaconazole treatment. A total of five possible invasive fungal infections occurred, two in the itraconazole group (4 %) and three in the voriconazole group (6 %). The percentage of patients with adverse events potentially related to clinical drugs were 14 % in the voriconazole group, 12 % in the itraconazole group, and 8 % in the posaconazole group. Itraconazole, voriconazole, and posaconazole showed comparable efficacy as antifungal prophylaxis in pediatric patients after allogeneic HSCT.
PMCID: PMC3953550  PMID: 24173819
2.  Secondary Antifungal Prophylaxis in Hematological Malignancy Patients with Previous Invasive Fungal Disease: A Retrospective Analysis 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(12):e115461.
Invasive fungal disease (IFD) causes morbidity and mortality in patients with hematological malignancy. Recurrence of IFD after chemotherapy or hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is associated with poor prognosis. The present study aimed to investigate the efficacy of different strategies of secondary antifungal prophylaxis (SAP) for IFD and choose an appropriate SAP regimen.
Clinical data of patients with previous IFD who underwent chemotherapy or HSCT between Jan 2008 and Jun 2013 were retrospectively reviewed and followed up to 180 days post-chemotherapy or HSCT. The clinical characteristics and diagnosis were analyzed according to the diagnostic criteria for IFD. The efficacy of different strategies for SAP and risk factors influencing the failure of SAP were evaluated.
Of the 164 patients enrolled, 121 patients received SAP regimen (73.78%), and IFD recurred in 40 patients: 16.5% (20/121) in SAP group and 46.5% (20/43) in non-SAP group. In SAP group, 58 received SAP agents which were proven effective for their previous IFD, while other 63 patients received other broad-spectrum antifungal agents. There was no significant difference in the recurrence rates between these two subgroups (13.8% (8/58) vs 19.0% (12/63), P = 0.437). The IFD recurrence rates were statistically significant between patients with allogeneic HSCT and chemotherapy or autologous HSCT (25% vs 8.2%, P = 0.013). Multivariate analysis indicated that allogeneic HSCT was the independent risk factor of IFD recurrence after SAP.
Secondary antifungal prophylaxis is necessary to prevent IFD recurrence in patients with hematological malignancy, especially for patients in the setting of allogeneic HSCT.
PMCID: PMC4274009  PMID: 25531544
3.  The Prevalence of Antifungal Agents Administration in Patients Undergoing Allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation: A Retrospective Study 
Invasive fungal infections (IFIs) are chief infectious complications in patients undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). However, the diagnosis of fungal infections is difficult, and often empiric treatment initiates. Since there is no data available on the prevalence of antifungal drugs administration in allogeneic HSCT recipients in Iran, we decided to conduct this study.
This study was a retrospective review of records of patients who received allogeneic HSCT in the Hematology-Oncology, Bone Marrow Transplantation center at Shariati Hospital in Tehran, between August 2009 and August 2010.
Sixty (73.1%) patients consist of 41 men (68.3%) with mean age of 26.3 (± 1.2) years received allogeneic HSCT. Patients received prophylaxis with fulconazole however; in 28 patients (46.7%) it was switched to low dose amphotericin B. Fifteen patients (25%) received treatment with antifungal agents. Amphotericin B was the empiric agent administered. In 3 patients treatment was switched to voriconazole. Neither positive culture nor direct microscopic evidence was available from the obtained specimen. Only in one patient the result of serum galactomannan assay was positive. There were no significant differences in neutropenia duration (P value: 0.54), length of hospital stay (P value: 0.27) and number of patients developed graft versus host disease (P value: 0.07) between patients received antifungal agents with those who did not receive treatment.
In this study HSCT recipients received antifungal agents for prophylaxis. Twenty five percent of patients received treatment with antifungal agents empirically. Improvement in diagnosis of these infections can be helpful and lead to targeted therapy. We suggest larger prospective trials for better assessment of antifungal agent administration.
PMCID: PMC3913151  PMID: 24505528
Antifungal agents; Peripheral blood stem cell transplantation; Retrospective Studies; Amphotericin B
4.  Clinical Utility of Computed Tomography Screening of Chest, Abdomen, and Sinuses before Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation: The St. Jude Experience 
All allogeneic (allo) and autologous (auto) hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) recipients at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital undergo pre-HSCT computed tomography (CT) of the sinuses, chest, and abdomen because they are at significant risk for opportunistic infections. We studied whether this extensive routine imaging is warranted to detect infection despite the risk of additional radiation exposure. We reviewed the medical records of all children receiving allo- and auto-HSCT at St. Jude in 2004 and 2005. Of the 184 eligible patients who received 187 transplants, 131 received allografts and 56 autografts. Solid tumors and lymphomas were removed from the final analysis of the chest and abdomen CT as this imaging is typically warranted as part of disease restaging; thus 111 allogeneic participants were included in this analysis. Both auto and allo-recipients were evaluated by sinus CT and included in this final analysis. Most allo- and auto-HSCT recipients (≥ 80%) did not have sinus, pulmonary, cardiac, or gastrointestinal symptoms; >85% of the evaluable allo-recipients had no prior fungal infection. Eighty-eight allo- and 31 auto-HSCT recipients had abnormal sinus CT findings, all unrelated to the underlying disease. Sixty-two (55.9%) of the allo-recipients had normal chest CT and 85 (76.6%) had normal abdominal CT. Of the 18 allo-recipients who began new therapy based on these findings, only 2 (11.1%) were related to chest CT findings and the other 16 were related to sinus findings. Our findings suggest that pre-HSCT routine CT imaging of the abdomen may not be warranted in a subset of allogeneic recipients who are asymptomatic and without previous infectious findings. Thus, these patients may be spared unnecessary radiation exposure. Recipients undergoing auto-HSCT or allo-HSCT for lymphomas or solid tumors will routinely undergo chest and abdominal CT imaging as part of their disease evaluation. The decision to perform chest CT should be made judiciously based on a careful history and physical examination. Sinus imaging, which was frequently abnormal, may be justified in all patients to plan post-HSCT care.
PMCID: PMC2679960  PMID: 19285637
Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT); autologous HSCT; allogeneic HSCT; computed tomography (CT); infection; pediatrics
5.  Analysis of posaconazole as oral antifungal prophylaxis in pediatric patients under 12 years of age following allogeneic stem cell transplantation 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2012;12:263.
Pediatric patients undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) are at high risk of acquiring fungal infections. Antifungal prophylaxis shortly after transplantation is therefore indicated, but data for pediatric patients under 12 years of age are scarce. To address this issue, we retrospectively assessed the safety, feasibility, and initial efficacy of prophylactic posaconazole in children.
60 consecutive pediatric patients with a median age of 6.0 years who underwent allogeneic HSCT between August 2007 and July 2010 received antifungal prophylaxis with posaconazole in the outpatient setting. 28 pediatric patients received an oral suspension at 5 mg/kg body weight b.i.d., and 32 pediatric patients received the suspension at 4 mg/kg body weight t.i.d. The observation period lasted from start of treatment with posaconazole until its termination (maximum of 200 days post-transplant).
Pediatric patients who received posaconazole at 4 mg/kg body weight t.i.d. had a median trough level of 383 μg/L. Patients who received posaconazole at 5 mg/kg body weight b.i.d. had a median trough level of 134 μg/L. Both regimens were well tolerated without severe side effects. In addition, no proven or probable invasive mycosis was observed.
Posaconazole was a well-tolerated, safe, and effective oral antifungal prophylaxis in pediatric patients who underwent high-dose chemotherapy and HSCT. Posaconazole at a dosage of 12 mg/kg body weight divided in three doses produced consistently higher morning trough levels than in patients who received posaconazole 5 mg/kg body weight b.i.d. Larger prospective trials are needed to obtain reliable guidelines for antifungal prophylaxis in children after HSCT.
PMCID: PMC3514296  PMID: 23082876
Posaconazole; Posaconazole trough levels; Pediatric patients; Antifungal prophylaxis; Stem cell transplantation
6.  Caspofungin as antifungal prophylaxis in pediatric patients undergoing allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation: a retrospective analysis 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2012;12:151.
Pediatric patients undergoing allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) often receive intravenous liposomal amphotericin B (L-AmB) as antifungal prophylaxis. There are no guidelines for antifungal prophylaxis in children in this situation. Caspofungin (CAS), a broad-spectrum echinocandin, could be an effective alternative with lower nephrotoxicity than L-AmB.
We retrospectively analyzed the safety, feasibility, and efficacy of CAS in our center, and compared the results with L-AmB as antifungal monoprophylaxis in pediatric patients undergoing HSCT. 60 pediatric patients received L-AmB (1 or 3 mg/kg bw/day) and another 60 patients received CAS (50 mg/m2/day) as antifungal monoprophylaxis starting on day one after HSCT. The median ages of patients receiving L-AmB and CAS were 7.5 years and 9.5 years, respectively.
No proven breakthrough fungal infection occurred in either group during the median treatment period of 23 days in the L-AmB group and 24 days in the CAS group. One patient receiving CAS developed probable invasive aspergillosis. During L-AmB treatment, potassium levels significantly decreased below normal values. Patients treated with L-AmB had more drug-related side effects and an increased need for oral supplementation with potassium, sodium bicarbonate and calcium upon discharge as compared with the CAS group. CAS was well-tolerated and safe in this cohort of immunocompromised pediatric patients, who underwent high-dose chemotherapy and HSCT.
Prophylactic CAS and L-AmB showed similar efficacy in this biggest cohort of pediatric patients after allogeneic HSCT reported, so far. A prospective randomized trial in children is warranted to allow for standardized guidelines.
PMCID: PMC3449185  PMID: 22747637
Caspofungin; Liposomal amphotericin B; Antifungal prophylaxis; Pediatric patients; Allogeneic stem cell transplantation
7.  Prevalence of invasive fungal disease in hematological patients at a tertiary university hospital in Singapore 
BMC Research Notes  2011;4:42.
The use of newer azoles as prophylaxis in hematological patients undergoing stem cell transplantation or immunosuppressive chemotherapy has been shown to decrease the risk of developing invasive fungal disease (IFD). However, the cost-effectiveness of such a strategy is dependent on the local epidemiology of IFD. We conducted an audit of hematological patients with IFD in our institution in order to derive the prevalence and types of IFD that occur locally.
We conducted a retrospective chart review of all hematological patients who developed possible, probable or definite IFD according to EORTC/MSG criteria in the period from Oct 2007 to Apr 2010. The prevalence of IFD was determined via correlation with institutional database records of all hematological patients treated at our institution over the same time period.
There were 39 cases of IFD diagnosed during the study period, with 8 (20.5%) possible, 19 (48.7%) probable and 12 (30.8%) definite cases of IFD. Aspergillus spp. accounted for 83.9% of all probable and definite infections. There was 1 case each of Rhinocladelia spp., Coprinopsis cinerea, Exserohilum spp. sinusitis and Rhizopus spp. sinusitis. IFD occurred in 12 of 124 (9.7%) AML and 4 of 103 (3.9%) ALL patients treated at our institution respectively. There were 10 (16.1%) infections among 62 allogeneic HSCT recipients, six of whom were having concurrent graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). Five other cases occurred after allogeneic HSCT failure, following salvage chemotherapy for disease relapse. The prevalence of IFD during induction chemotherapy was 8.9% (11 of 124 cases) for AML and 1.0% (1 of 103 cases) for ALL. Fluconazole prophylaxis had been provided for 28 out of the 39 (71.8%) cases, while 4 (10.3%) were on itraconazole prophylaxis. The in-hospital mortality was 28.2% (11 of 39 cases), of which 5 (12.8%) deaths were attributed to IFD.
The burden of IFD is high in our institution, especially in allogeneic HSCT recipients and patients on induction chemotherapy for AML. A prophylactic strategy directed against invasive mould infections for local high-risk patients may be considered as the comparative costs of treatment, prolonged hospitalisation and subsequent delayed chemotherapy favours such an approach.
PMCID: PMC3055820  PMID: 21356038
8.  Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation A Global Perspective 
Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) requires significant infrastructure. Little is known on its use and the factors associated with it on a global level.
To determine current use of HSCT, to assess differences in its application and to explore associations of macroeconomic factors with transplant rates on a global level.
Structured worldwide collection of numbers of allogeneic and autologous HSCT by main indication, donor type and stem cell source for the year 2006.
Worldwide Network for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (WBMT), a global non-profit umbrella organization for clinical HSCT.
All patients with an allogeneic or autologous HSCT for any indication transplanted in 2006 within any of the participating countries.
Main Outcome measures
Transplant rates (number of HSCT per 10 million inhabitants) by indication, donor type and country; description of main differences in HSCT use; macroeconomic factors of reporting countries associated with transplant rates.
There were 50’417 first HSCT, 21’516 allogeneic (43%), 28’901 autologous (57%) reported from 1’327 centers in 71 countries for leukemia (17’049 (34%; 89% allogeneic)), lymphoma (27’492 (54%; 87% autologous)), solid tumors (2’925 (6%, 95% autologous)), non-malignant disorder (2’593 (5%; 92% allogeneic)) or, “others” 358 (1%). Use of allogeneic or autologous HSCT, use of unrelated or family donors for allogeneic HSCT and proportions of disease indications varied significantly between countries and continental regions. In linear regression analyses, Government Health Care Expenditures (r2 = 77.33), team density (r2 =76.28), Human Development Index (r2 = 74.36) and Gross National Income /Capita (r2 = 74.04) showed the highest association with transplant rates.
HSCT is an accepted therapy today with different use and needs worldwide. Availability of resources, Governmental support and, access for patients to a team were identified as key factors for higher transplant rates.
PMCID: PMC3219875  PMID: 20424252
Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation; Global perspective; transplant rates; leukemia; lymphoma; solid tumors; non-malignant disorders; Gross National Income per capita; Human Development Index
9.  Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation in a Very High Risk Group of Patients with the Support of Granulocyte Transfusion 
High risk patients with active fungal infection who had undergone hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) with the support of granulocyte transfusions (GTX) as an adjunct to antifungal agents are reviewed retrospectively. Patients requiring immediate allogeneic HSCT for their primary hematological disorders (two severe aplastic anemia, one T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in second complete remission, one acute myeloid leukemia (AML)-in first complete remission, one T-ALL in refractory relapse) but were denied by other transplant programs due to active invasive fungal infections had undergone HSCT with the support of GTX at the stem cell transplantation unit of Gazi University. Five patients who had undergone six transplants were included in the study and received a total of 38 (3–13) granulocyte transfusions during these six transplants. The median granulocyte concentration was 3.4 × 1011 per apheresis bag. Full clinical and radiological recovery was achieved in three of the five high risk patients with active invasive fungal infection with the combination of antifungal agents and GTX. Even a very high risk patient with aplastic anemia who had undergone two consecutive transplants due to secondary graft failure was also cured of his primary disease despite the presence of multiple pulmonary fungus balls. Three of the five patients with very high risk features due to the underlying hematological disease and the associated active fungal infection were rescued with allogeneic HSCT performed with the support of GTX combined with antifungal agents. Despite the limitations of this report due to its retrospective nature, it suggests that GTX might be an alternative in patients with active fungal infections who otherwise are denied by the transplant programs. However, prospective randomized studies are required to draw a solid conclusion regarding the role of GTX in HSCT recipients in desperate situations such as active fungal infections.
PMCID: PMC3155722  PMID: 22942564
Stem cell transplantation; Granulocyte transfusion; Fungal infection; Anti-fungal treatment
10.  The Use of Intravenous Antibiotics at the Onset of Neutropenia in Patients Receiving Outpatient-Based Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplants 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(9):e46220.
Empirical antibiotics at the onset of febrile neutropenia are one of several strategies for management of bacterial infections in patients undergoing Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant (HSCT) (empiric strategy). Our HSCT program aims to perform HSCT in an outpatient setting, where an empiric antibiotic strategy was employed. HSCT recipients began receiving intravenous antibiotics at the onset of neutropenia in the absence of fever as part of our institutional policy from 01 Jan 2009; intravenous Prophylactic strategy. A prospective study was conducted to compare two consecutive cohorts [Year 2008 (Empiric strategy) vs. Year 2009 (Prophylactic strategy)] of patients receiving HSCT. There were 238 HSCTs performed between 01 Jan 2008 and 31 Dec 2009 with 127 and 111 in the earlier and later cohorts respectively. Infection-related mortality pre- engraftment was similar with a prophylactic compared to an empiric strategy (3.6% vs. 7.1%; p = 0.24), but reduced among recipients of autologous HSCT (0% vs. 6.8%; p = 0.03). Microbiologically documented, blood stream infections and clinically documented infections pre-engraftment were reduced in those receiving a prophylactic compared to an empiric strategy, (11.7% vs. 28.3%; p = 0.001), (9.9% vs. 24.4%; p = 0.003) and (18.2% vs. 33.9% p = 0.007) respectively. The prophylactic use of intravenous once-daily ceftriaxone in patients receiving outpatient based HSCT is safe and may be particularly effective in patients receiving autologous HSCT. Further studies are warranted to study the impact of this Prophylactic strategy in an outpatient based HSCT program.
PMCID: PMC3460853  PMID: 23029441
11.  Hematopoietic SCT in Europe: data and trends in 2012 with special consideration of pediatric transplantation 
Bone Marrow Transplantation  2014;49(6):744-750.
In all, 661 of 680 centers in 48 countries reported 37 818 hematopoietic SCT (HSCT) in 33 678 patients (14 165 allogeneic (42%), 19 513 autologous (58%)) in the 2012 survey. Main indications were leukemias, 10 641 (32% 95% allogeneic); lymphoid neoplasias, 19 336 (57% 11% allogeneic); solid tumors, 1630 (5% 3% allogeneic); and nonmalignant disorders, 1953 (6% 90% allogeneic). There were more unrelated donors than HLA-identical sibling donors (54% versus 38% (8% being mismatched related donor HSCT)). Cord blood was almost exclusive in allogeneic transplants (5% of total). Since 2011, the highest increases in allogeneic HSCT were for AML in CR1 (12%) and for myeloproliferative neoplasm (15%). For autologous HSCT the main increases were for plasma cell disorders (7%), non-Hodgkin lymphoma (4%) and autoimmune disease (50%). There were 4097 pediatric patients <18 years of age receiving HSCT, 2902 received an allogeneic and 1195 an autologous HSCT. Overall, 69% of allogeneic and 64% of autologous HSCT were performed in dedicated pediatric centers and the remainder in combined adult and pediatric centers. Distributions of diseases, donor types and stem cell source for all patients and pediatric patients in particular are shown. A percentage of centers fulfilling the annual required criteria for patient numbers for JACIE accreditation are provided.
PMCID: PMC4051369  PMID: 24637898
12.  Characterization of Bacterial Infections in Allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant Recipients Who Received Prophylactic Levofloxacin With Either Penicillin or Doxycycline 
Mayo Clinic Proceedings  2010;85(8):711-718.
OBJECTIVE: To describe the effect of a combination prophylactic regimen of levofloxacin, a synthetic chemotherapeutic antibiotic of the fluoroquinolone drug class, with either penicillin or doxycycline on the changing epidemiology of bacterial infections and antimicrobial resistance patterns of isolated organisms in the allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) patient population.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: We conducted a single-center, retrospective cohort study of all allogeneic HSCT recipients from January 1, 2003, through August 31, 2008, who received prophylactic levofloxacin in combination with penicillin (or with doxycycline in penicillin-allergic patients) from allogeneic stem cell infusion until neutrophil engraftment.
RESULTS: Of the 258 patients who underwent allogeneic HSCT during the study period, 231 received levofloxacin prophylaxis, 76 (33%) of whom developed an infection within 3 months after transplant. Over time, the ratio of gram-positive to gram-negative (GN) infections decreased from 2.11 in 2004, the first year that GN organisms were isolated, to 1.11 in 2008 (P=.20). Emergence of fluoroquinolone-resistant GN bacteria was observed (P=.02), whereas resistance to extended-spectrum β-lactams did not change over time. Combined vancomycin-resistant enterococci colonization and infection rates increased during the study period (P=.04). Clostridium difficile colitis was uncommon.
CONCLUSION: Levofloxacin with penicillin or doxycycline prophylaxis may contribute to the emergence of resistant GN infections in allogeneic HSCT recipients over time. Our findings provide additional support for the current standard of practice of administering empiric monotherapy with an antipseudomonal β-lactam if these patients develop fever or are suspected to have an infection.
Levofloxacin with penicillin or doxycycline prophylaxis may contribute to emergence of resistant gram-negative infections in these recipients over time. These findings support the current practice of administering empiric monotherapy with an antipseudomonal β-lactam in those who develop a fever.
PMCID: PMC2912731  PMID: 20675508
13.  Hepatitis B-related events in autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation recipients 
AIM: To investigate the frequency of occult hepatitis B, the clinical course of hepatitis B virus (HBV) reactivation and reverse seroconversion and associated risk factors in autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) recipients.
METHODS: This study was conducted in 90 patients undergoing autologous HSCT. Occult HBV infection was investigated by HBV-DNA analysis prior to transplantation, while HBV serology and liver function tests were screened prior to and serially after transplantation. HBV-related events including reverse seroconversion and reactivation were recorded in all patients.
RESULTS: None of the patients had occult HBV prior to transplantation. Six (6.7%) patients were positive for HBV surface antigen (HBsAg) prior to transplantation and received lamivudine prophylaxis; they did not develop HBV reactivation after transplantation. Clinical HBV infection emerged in three patients after transplantation who had negative HBV-DNA prior to HSCT. Two of these three patients had HBV reactivation while one patient developed acute hepatitis B. Three patients had anti-HBc as the sole hepatitis B-related antibody prior to transplantation, two of whom developed hepatitis B reactivation while none of the patients with antibody to HBV surface antigen (anti-HBs) did so. The 14 anti-HBs- and/or anti-HBc-positive patients among the 90 HSCT recipients experienced either persistent (8 patients) or transient (6 patients) disappearance of anti-HBs and/or anti-HBc. HBsAg seroconversion and clinical hepatitis did not develop in these patients. Female gender and multiple myeloma emerged as risk factors for loss of antibody in regression analysis (P < 0.05).
CONCLUSION: Anti-HBc as the sole HBV marker seems to be a risk factor for reactivation after autologous HSCT. Lamivudine prophylaxis in HbsAg-positive patients continues to be effective.
PMCID: PMC2852826  PMID: 20380010
Autologous stem cell transplantation; Hepatitis B reactivation; Occult hepatitis; Multiple myeloma; Lymphoma
14.  Economic evaluation of posaconazole versus fluconazole prophylaxis in patients with graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) in the Netherlands 
Annals of Hematology  2010;89(9):919-926.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of posaconazole versus fluconazole for the prevention of invasive fungal infections (IFI) in graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) patients in the Netherlands. A decision analytic model was developed based on a double-blind randomized trial that compared posaconazole with fluconazole antifungal prophylaxis in recipients of allogeneic HSCT with GVHD who were receiving immunosuppressive therapy (Ullmann et al., N Engl J Med 356:335–347, 2007). Clinical events were modeled with chance nodes reflecting probabilities of IFIs, IFI-related death, and death from other causes. Data on life expectancy, quality-of-life, medical resource consumption, and costs were obtained from the literature. The total cost with posaconazole amounted to €9,428 (95% uncertainty interval €7,743–11,388), which is €4,566 (€2,460–6,854) more than those with fluconazole. Posaconazole prophylaxis resulted in 0.17 (0.02–0.36) quality adjusted life year (QALY) gained compared to fluconazole prophylaxis, corresponding to an incremental cost effectiveness ratio (ICER) of €26,225 per QALY gained. A scenario analysis demonstrated that at an increased background IFI risk (from 9% to 15%) the ICER was €13,462 per QALY. Given the underlying data and assumptions, posaconazole prophylaxis is expected to be cost-effective relative to fluconazole in recipients of allogeneic HSCT developing GVHD in the Netherlands. The cost-effectiveness of posaconazole depends on the IFI risk, which can vary by hospital.
PMCID: PMC2908442  PMID: 20383504
Posaconazole; Cost-effectiveness; Graft-versus-host disease; Prophylaxis
15.  Current Antimicrobial Usage for the Management of Neutropenic Fever in Korea: A Nationwide Survey 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2008;23(6):941-947.
A nationwide questionnaire-based survey was performed to evaluate the current clinical practices for the management of neutropenic fever in hematology units and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) centers throughout Korea. A 86.9% response rate was obtained from a total of 46 doctors and practical policies of the 33 sites were analysed. Approximately 42.4% and 84.8% of the sites responded that they used oral fluoroquinolone as prophylaxis for neutropenic patients receiving chemotherapy and HSCT, respectively. Additionally, 42.4% of the sites responded that they used antifungal prophylaxis in the chemotherapy groups whereas 90.9% of the sites responded that they used antifungal prophylaxis in HSCT recipients. Approximately half of the responding sites prescribed combination regimen with 3rd or 4th cephalosporin plus aminoglycoside as a first-line therapy. Most of the sites considered persistent fever for 2-4 days or aggravated clinical symptoms for 1-2 days as failure of the first-line regimen, and they changed antibiotics to second-line regimens that varied widely among the sites. Twenty-seven sites (84.4%) responded that they considered adding an antifungal agent when fever persisted for 5-7 days despite antibacterial therapy. Amphotericin B deoxycholate was preferred as a first-line antifungal, which was probably due to the limitations of the national health insurance system. The role of oral antibiotics in the management of neutropenic fever still accounted for a small portion. To the best of our knowledge, this survey is the first report to examine the practical policies currently in place for the management of neutropenic fever in Korea and the results of this survey may help to establish a Korean guideline in the future.
PMCID: PMC2610656  PMID: 19119433
Neutropenia; Fever; Therapeutics; Guideline; Prevention and Control; Anti-Bacterial Agents; Antifungal Agents
16.  Increase of Suicide and Accidental Death After Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation 
Cancer  2013;119(11):2012-2021.
Relapse and transplant-related complications are leading causes of mortality after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Suicides and accidents have not been studied in these patients. This study sought to determine whether there is an excess of suicide and accidental deaths after HSCT, and to determine risk factors.
The incidence of suicidal and accidental death in patients after undergoing HSCT, standardized mortality ratio (SMR), and absolute excess risk (AER) of suicide and accidental deaths was determined, compared with the general European population. A case-control analysis was done to define factors associated with suicide and accidental deaths. Data were derived from the European Group for Blood and Marrow Transplantation Registry, including 294,922 patients who underwent autologous or allogeneic HSCT from 1980 to 2009.
The 10-year cumulative incidence of suicide and accidental deaths was 101.8 and 55.6 per 100,000 patients, respectively. SMR and AER of suicide after HSCT were 2.12 (P < .001) and 10.91, higher than in the European general population for 100,000 deaths, respectively. SMR and AER of accidental death were 1.23 (P < .05) and 2.54, respectively. In the case-control study, relapses were more frequent among patients who committed suicide after autologous HSCT (37% versus 18%; P < .0001). Chronic graft-versus-host disease was higher among patients who committed suicide after allogeneic HSCT (64% versus 37%; P = .001).
There is an excess of deaths due to suicide and accidents in patients after undergoing HSCT as compared with the European general population. Relapse was associated with more suicide and accidental deaths after autologous HSCT, and chronic graft-versus-host disease was associated with more deaths by suicide after allogeneic HSCT. Cancer 2013;119:2012–2021. © 2013 American Cancer Society.
PMCID: PMC3698695  PMID: 23512286
hematopoietic stem cell transplantation; late effects; suicides; accidents; long-term; survivorship
17.  Reduced Intensity Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplantation in Children and Young Adults with Ultra-High Risk Pediatric Sarcomas 
Some subsets of pediatric sarcoma patients have very poor survival rates. We sought to determine the feasibility and efficacy of allogeneic HSCT (alloHSCT) in pediatric sarcoma populations with <25% predicted overall survival. Patients with ultra-high risk Ewing’s sarcoma family of tumors (ESFT), alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma or desmoplastic small round cell tumor received EPOCH-fludarabine induction, a cyclophosphamide/fludarabine/melphalan preparative regimen and HLA matched related peripheral blood stem cells. Thirty patients enrolled; 7 did not undergo alloHSCT due to progressive disease with diminishing performance status during induction. All 23 alloHSCT recipients experienced rapid full donor engraftment, with no peri-transplant mortality. Five of 23 alloHSCT recipients (22%) remain alive (overall survival of 30% by Kaplan-Meier analysis at 3 years), including 3 of 7 (42%) transplanted without overt disease (median survival 14.5 vs. 29.0 months from alloHSCT for patients transplanted with vs. without overt disease, respectively). Among the 28 patients who progressed on the study, the median survival from date of progression was 1.9 months for the 7 who did not receive a transplant compared to 11.4 months for the 21 transplanted (p=0.0003). We found prolonged survival after post-transplant progression with several patients exhibiting indolent tumor growth. We also saw several patients with enhanced anti-tumor effects from post-transplant chemotherapy (objective response to pre-transplant EPOCH-F was 24% vs. 67% to post-transplant EOCH), however this was associated with increased toxicity. This largest reported series of alloHSCT in sarcomas demonstrates that alloHSCT is safe in this population, and that patients undergoing alloHSCT without overt disease show higher survival rates than reported using standard therapies. Enhanced chemo- and radio-sensitivity of tumors and normal tissues was observed post-transplant.
PMCID: PMC3262116  PMID: 21896345
18.  Prospective Study of the Incidence, Clinical Features, and Outcome of Symptomatic Upper and Lower Respiratory Tract Infections by Respiratory Viruses in Adult Recipients of Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplants for Hematologic Malignancies 
Respiratory viruses (RVs) are known to be major causes of morbidity and mortality in recipients of hematopoietic stem cell transplants (HSCTs), but prospective long-term studies are lacking. We prospectively screened all adult HSCT recipients (172 allogeneic [alloHSCT] and 240 autologous [autoHSCT]) who underwent transplantation during a 4-year period (1999 to 2003) for the development of a first episode of symptomatic upper respiratory tract infections and/or lower respiratory tract infections (LRTI) by an RV. RVs studied were influenza A and B viruses (n = 39), human respiratory syncytial virus (n = 19), human adenoviruses (n = 11), human parainfluenza viruses 1 to 3 (n = 8), human enteroviruses (n = 5), human rhinoviruses (n = 3), and the recently discovered human metapneumoviruses (n = 19). During the study, 51 and 32 cases of RV symptomatic infections were identified of alloHSCT and autoHSCT recipients (2-year incidence, 29% and 14%, respectively). Risk factors for progression of upper respiratory tract infection to LRTI included severe (<0.2 × 109/L) and moderate (<0.2 × 109/L) lymphocytopenia in alloHSCT (P = .02) and autoHSCT (P = .03). Death from LRTI was attributed to an RV in 8 alloHSCT recipients. Symptomatic RV had no effect on 2-year outcomes, with the possible exception of influenza A and B virus infections in autoHSCT: these were associated with nonrelapse mortality (P = .02). In conclusion, this prospective trial allows an estimation of the minimum incidence of a first RV infection in adult HSCT recipients and identifies risk factors for acquisition of an RV infection and progression to LRTI; this should aid in the design of future studies. In addition, human metapneumovirus should be added to the potentially serious causes of RV infections in HSCT.
PMCID: PMC3347977  PMID: 16182179
Respiratory viruses; Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation; Respiratory tract infection; Prospective study
19.  Epidemiology and Outcomes of Clostridium difficile Infections in Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant Recipients 
Clostridium difficile is a major early infectious complication of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Infections are related to antimicrobial use, underlying host variables, and acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). C. difficile infection is associated with gastrointestinal GVHD after allogeneic HSCT.
Background. Clostridium difficile is the leading cause of infectious diarrhea among hospitalized patients and is a major concern for patients undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Risk factors and the natural history of C. difficile infection (CDI) are poorly understood in this population.
Methods. We performed a retrospective nested case-control study to describe the epidemiology, timing, and risk factors for CDI among adult patients who received HSCTs at our center from January 2003 through December 2008.
Results. The overall 1-year incidence of CDI was 9.2% among HSCTs performed (n = 999). The median time to diagnosis of CDI was short among both autologous and allogeneic HSCT recipients (6.5 days and 33 days, respectively). Risk factors for CDI in allogeneic HSCT recipients included receipt of chemotherapy prior to conditioning for HSCT, broad-spectrum antimicrobial use, and acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD; adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 4.45; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.54–12.84; P = .006). There was a strong relationship between early CDI and subsequent development of gastrointestinal tract GVHD in the year following allogeneic HSCT (P < .001). Gastrointestinal GVHD was also strongly associated with an increased risk for recurrent CDI (AOR, 4.23 [95% CI, 1.20–14.86]; P = .02).
Conclusions. These results highlight the high incidence and early timing of CDI after HSCT. Early timing, coupled with the noted risk of pretransplant chemotherapy, suggests that the natural history of disease in some patients may involve colonization prior to HSCT. A potentially important interplay between CDI and GVHD involving the gastrointestinal tract was observed.
PMCID: PMC3309884  PMID: 22412059
20.  Changes in Renal Function after Different Tandem Hematopoietic Stem-cell Transplantation Approaches in Patients with Multiple Myeloma 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2011;26(10):1310-1315.
This study was done to observe the alteration of the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) in multiple myeloma patients according to type of tandem hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Forty-one patients were enrolled in this study. Twenty patients underwent autologous HSCT (auto-HSCT) and 21 patients underwent allogeneic HSCT (allo-HSCT). The changes in eGFR after the two tandem HSCT modalities were different between the two groups, according to the donor of stem cells (P = 0.016). In the auto-HSCT group, the eGFR, recorded 12 months after secondary HSCT, was significantly decreased compared with the eGFR recorded before stem cell mobilization (P = 0.005). Although there was no significant difference, the trend showed that the eGFR after allo-HSCT decreased from the previous HSCT until a month after secondary HSCT. In addition, after 6 months of secondary HSCT, the eGFR recovered to the level recorded prior to the HSCT (P = 0.062). This difference may be due to total body irradiation, a calcineurin inhibitor, or maintemance therapy. Changes in renal function would be monitored closely for these patients. The recovery of the eGFR would be a main focus for the patients treated with the total body irradiation or the calcineurin inhibitor, a progressive decline of the eGFR would be also crucial for the patients treated with maintenance therapy.
PMCID: PMC3192342  PMID: 22022183
Multiple Myeloma; Allogeneic Stem-Cell Transplantation; Autologous Stem-Cell Transplantation; Renal Function; Tandem Transplantation
We examined the role of hematopoietic cell transplantation (HSCT) for patients aged ≤18 years with refractory or recurrent Burkitt (n=41), lymphoblastic (n=53), diffuse large B cell (n=52) and anaplastic large cell lymphoma (n=36), receiving autologous (n=90) or allogeneic (n=92 – 43 matched sibling and 49 unrelated donor) HSCT in 1990–2005. Risk factors affecting event-free survival (EFS) were evaluated using stratified Cox regression. Characteristics of allogeneic and autologous HSCT recipients were similar. Allogeneic donor HSCT was more likely to use irradiation-containing conditioning regimens, marrow stem cells, be performed in more recent years, and for lymphoblastic lymphoma. EFS rates were lower for patients not in complete remission at HSCT, regardless of donor type. After adjusting for disease status, 5-year EFS were similar after allogeneic and autologous HSCT for diffuse large B cell (50% vs. 52%), Burkitt (31% vs. 27%) and anaplastic large cell lymphoma (46% vs. 35%). However, EFS was higher for lymphoblastic lymphoma, after allogeneic HSCT (40% vs. 4%, p<0.01). Predictors of EFS for progressive or recurrent disease after HSCT included disease status at HSCT and use of allogeneic donor for lymphoblastic lymphoma. These data were unable to demonstrate a difference in outcome by donor type for the other histologic sub-types.
PMCID: PMC2911354  PMID: 19800015
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma; allogeneic HSCT; autologous HSCT
22.  Epidemiology, outcomes, and mortality predictors of invasive mold infections among transplant recipients: a 10-year, single-center experience 
The epidemiology of invasive mold infections (IMI) in transplant recipients differs, based on geography, hosts, preventative strategies, and methods of diagnosis.
We conducted a retrospective observational study to evaluate the epidemiology of proven and probable IMI, using prior definitions, among all adult hematopoietic stem cell (HSCT) and solid organ transplant (SOT) recipients in the era of “classic” culture-based diagnostics (2000–2009). Epidemiology was evaluated before and after an initiative was begun to increase bronchoscopy in HSCT recipients after 2005.
In total, 106 patients with one IMI were identified. Invasive aspergillosis (IA) was the most common IMI (69; 65.1%), followed by mucormycosis (9; 8.5%). The overall rate of IMI (and IA) was 3.5% (2.5%) in allogeneic HSCT recipients. The overall incidence for IMI among lung, kidney, liver, and heart transplant recipients were 49, 2, 11, and 10 per 1000 person-years, respectively. The observed rate of IMI among HLA-matched unrelated and haploidentical HSCT recipients increased from 0.6% annually to 3.0% after bronchoscopy initiation (P<0.05). The 12-week mortality among allogeneic HSCT, liver, kidney, heart, and lung recipients with IMI was 52.4%, 47.1%, 27.8%, 16.7%, and 9.5%, respectively. Among allogeneic HSCT (odds ratio [OR]: 0.07, P=0.007) and SOT (OR: 0.22, P=0.05) recipients with IA, normal platelet count was associated with improved survival. Male gender (OR: 14.4, P=0.007) and elevated bilirubin (OR: 5.7, P=0.04) were significant predictors of mortality for allogeneic HSCT and SOT recipients with IA, respectively.
During the era of culture-based diagnostics, observed rates of IMI were low among all transplants except lung transplant recipients, with relatively higher mortality rates. Diagnostic aggressiveness and host variables impact the reported incidence and outcome of IMI and likely account for institutional variability in multicenter studies. Definitions to standardize diagnoses among SOT recipients are needed.
PMCID: PMC3664270  PMID: 23432974
mold infections; transplant recipients; epidemiology
23.  Epidemiology of Invasive Mold Infections in Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplant Recipients: Biological Risk Factors for Infection According to Time after Transplantation 
Invasive mold infections (IMIs) are common in individuals who have undergone hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). We sought to determine clinical and biological risk factors for different IMIs during each period (early and late) after allogeneic HSCT.
Cases of proven and probable IMI diagnosed in HSCT recipients at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (Seattle, WA) from 1 January 1998 through 31 December 2002 were included. Survival was estimated with Kaplan-Meier curves, and Cox regression models were used for multivariable analyses.
During the study period, 1248 patients underwent allogeneic HSCT; 163 (13.1%) received a diagnosis of probable or proven IMI. The majority of cases were caused by Aspergillus species (88%). The incidence of IMI caused by other molds remained low (<2%) over the 4-year study period. Risk factors for IMI early after HSCT and late after HSCT differed, with host variables (age) and transplant variables (human leukocyte antigen match) predominating as early risk factors and other clinical complications (graft-versus-host disease and cytomegalovirus disease) predominating later. Biological risk factors that were important during all periods included multiple cytopenias (neutropenia, lymphopenia, and monocytopenia) and iron overload.
Risk factors for invasive aspergillosis after allogeneic HSCT are multifactorial and differ according to timing after HSCT. Increased attention should be placed on understanding the immunopathogenesis of fungal disease after HSCT.
PMCID: PMC2668264  PMID: 18781877
24.  Invasive Candida Infections in Patients With Haematological Malignancies and Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant Recipients: Current Epidemiology and Therapeutic Options. 
In the last decades, the global epidemiological impact of invasive candidiasis (IC) in patients with hematologic malignancies (HM) and in hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) recipients has decreased and the incidence of invasive aspergillosis exceeded that of Candida infections. The use of prevention strategies, first of all antifungal prophylaxis with triazoles, contributed to the reduction of IC in these populations as demonstrated by several epidemiological studies. However, relatively little is known about the current epidemiological patterns of IC in HM and HSCT populations, because recent epidemiological data almost exclusively derive from retrospective experiences and few prospective data are available. Several prospective, controlled studies in the prophylaxis of invasive fungal diseases have been conducted in both the HM and HSCT setting. On the contrary, most of the prospective controlled trials that demonstrated the efficacy of the antifungal drugs echinocandins and voriconazole in the treatment of candidemia and invasive candidiasis mainly involved patients with underlying conditions other than HM or HSCT. For these reasons, international guidelines provided specific indications for the prophylaxis strategies in HM and HSCT patients, whereas the recommendations on therapy of documented Candida infections are based on the results observed in the general population and should be considered with caution.
PMCID: PMC3103241  PMID: 21625317
25.  Impact of previous invasive pulmonary aspergillosis on the outcome of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation 
The Korean Journal of Hematology  2012;47(4):255-259.
Invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA) is one of the major complications encountered by patients receiving chemotherapy for hematologic malignancies. The prolonged period of intense immunosuppression following allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) may increase the risk of IPA recurrence in patients with a history of IPA. We evaluated the impact of a history of IPA on allogeneic HSCT outcome, and examined the incidence of IPA after HSCT.
This retrospective study included 22 patients with a history of IPA prior to receiving allogeneic HSCT at the Samsung Medical Center from 1995 to 2007. Diagnosis of IPA was defined as proven (N=5), probable (N=0), or possible (N=17).
All 22 patients received amphotericin-based regimens to treat pre-transplant IPA. Secondary antifungal prophylaxis was administered to 10 patients during HSCT. The development of post-transplant IPA was observed in 2 patients. One of the patients died from septic shock within 2 days of the diagnosis of possible IPA. The other patient recovered from IPA, but eventually had a relapse of the primary disease. Of the 22 patients, the overall 2-year survival rate was 63% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 41-85), and the transplant-related mortality rate was 19% (95% CI: 0-38).
Our results suggest that a history of IPA prior to HSCT does not have an adverse impact on transplant outcomes, although the small number of cases was a limitation in this study. Future studies involving a larger number of cases are needed to further examine this issue.
PMCID: PMC3538796  PMID: 23320003
Invasive pulmonary aspergillosis; Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation

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