ASCO updates guidance on prophylaxis for adults with cancer-related immunosuppression



Fluoroquinolones are recommended for adults with cancer-related immunosuppression if they are at high risk of infection, according to an updated clinical practice guideline on antimicrobial prophylaxis.

By contrast, patients with solid tumors are not routinely recommended to receive antibiotic prophylaxis, according to the guideline, developed by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) with the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA).

The guideline includes antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral prophylaxis recommendations, along with additional precautions such as hand hygiene that may reduce infection risk.

Released in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, the updated guidelines were developed by an expert panel cochaired by Christopher R. Flowers, MD of Emory University, Atlanta, and Randy A. Taplitz, MD of the University of California, San Diego, Health.

For the most part, the panel endorsed the previous ASCO recommendations, published in 2013. However, the panel considered six new high-quality studies and six new or updated meta-analyses to make modifications and add some new recommendations.

Fluoroquinolones, in the 2013 guideline, were recommended over trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole because of fewer adverse events leading to treatment discontinuation. Panelists for the new guidelines said they continued to support that recommendation, based on an updated literature review.

That review showed significant reductions in both febrile neutropenia incidence and all-cause mortality, not only for patients at high risk of febrile neutropenia or profound, protracted neutropenia but also for lower-risk patients with solid tumors, they said.

However, the benefits did not sufficiently outweigh the harms to justify recommending fluoroquinolone prophylaxis for all patients with solid tumors or lymphoma, according to the report from the expert panel.

Those harms could include antibiotic-associated adverse effects, emergence of resistance, and Clostridium difficile infections, they said.

Accordingly, they recommended fluoroquinolone prophylaxis for the high-risk patients, including most patients with acute myeloid leukemia/myelodysplastic syndromes (AML/MDS) or those undergoing hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation (HSCT).

Similarly, the panel recommended that high-risk patients should receive antifungal prophylaxis with an oral triazole or parenteral echinocandin, while prophylaxis would not be routinely recommended for solid tumor patients.

By contrast, all patients undergoing chemotherapy for malignancy should receive yearly influenza vaccination with an inactivated quadrivalent vaccine, the panel said in its antiviral prophylaxis recommendations.

Family members, household contacts, and health care providers also should receive influenza vaccinations, said the panel, endorsing recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that were also cited in the 2013 ASCO guidelines.

Health care workers should follow hand hygiene and respiratory hygiene/cough etiquette to reduce risk of pathogen transmission, the panel said, endorsing CDC recommendations cited in the previous guideline.

However, the panel said they recommend against interventions such as neutropenic diet, footwear exchange, nutritional supplements, and surgical masks.

“Evidence of clinical benefit is lacking” for those interventions, they said.

Participants in the expert panel disclosed potential conflicts of interest related to Merck, Chimerix, GlyPharma Therapeutic, Pfizer, Cidara Therapeutics, Celgene, Astellas Pharma, Gilead Sciences, and Allergan, among other entities.

SOURCE: Taplitz RA et al. J Clin Oncol. 2018 Sept 4. doi: 10.1200/JCO.18.00374.

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