Antifungal therapy in pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia: A single-center experience

Yigit M., Bilir Ö. A. , Yüksek S. K. , KAÇAR D. , Özbek N. Y. , Yaralı H. N.

Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, 2021 (Journal Indexed in SCI Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1097/mph.0000000000002297
  • Title of Journal : Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
  • Keywords: Acute lymphoblastic leukemia, Antifungal therapy, Chemotherapy phase, Children


© 2021 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.Introduction: Invasive fungal infections (IFIs) are significant causes of morbidity and mortality in leukemia patients. This study investigated antifungal treatment and prophylaxis features according to leukemia risk groups and treatment phases in pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) patients who received Berlin-Frankfurt-Munster-based protocols. Materials and Methods: We retrospectively examined ALL patients' data between the ages of 1 and 18 and treated them with Berlin-Frankfurt-Munster-ALL protocols between June 2013 and December 2016. Results: A total of 446 febrile neutropenic attacks in 85 children were evaluated. Seventy-two patients received antifungals in 151 infection attacks, while 13 patients did not receive any antifungal treatment during chemotherapy. Empirical, preemptive, or proven treatments were given to 74.8%, 21.2%, and 4% of patients, respectively. The frequency of antifungal therapy increased linearly and significantly from the standard-risk group to the intermediate-risk (IR) group, high-risk (HR) group, and relapsed group. IR patients needed more antifungal therapy while receiving induction, whereas HR patients needed more throughout the induction and HR consolidation blocks than other phases. During induction, IR patients received antifungal therapy similar to HR patients' treatment in the induction and HR consolidation blocks. Conclusions: Antifungal therapy requirements increased as the severity and intensity of chemotherapy increased for all leukemia risk groups. The requirement of antifungal therapy for IR patients receiving induction was similar to that of HR patients; further studies are needed to evaluate the potential advantages of using primary antifungal prophylaxis in IR patients.