Targeted prophylaxis with posaconazole was more effective than fluconazole in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia who were undergoing induction chemotherapy in order to prevent invasive fungal infection, according to a study by Tian Zhang of Xidian University, Xi’an, China, and colleagues.
The researchers performed a single-center, retrospective cohort study of 155 patients with newly diagnosed acute lymphoblastic leukemia, comparing invasive fungal infections in those who received no prophylaxis (60 patients), posaconazole prophylaxis (70), or fluconazole prophylaxis (55) during induction therapy, according topublished in the Journal of Microbiology, Immunology and Infection.
Proven and probable invasive fungal infections occurred during the induction phase in 45% in the no-prophylaxis group, in 18% of the posaconazole group and in 72% of the fluconazole group. Posaconazole prophylaxis reduced the odds of invasive fungal infections by greater than 60%, prolonged infection-free survival significantly, and did not increase the risk of hepatotoxicity.
In addition, the researchers found that the combination of age at diagnosis, clinically documented bacterial infection in the first 15 days of induction therapy, and absolute neutrophil count curve enabled significant prediction of the susceptibility to infections after receiving posaconazole prophylaxis.
“In general, these findings may serve as a basis for developing screening protocols to identify children who are at high risk for infection despite posaconazole prophylaxis so that early intervention can be initiated to mitigate fungal infections,” the researchers concluded.
The authors reported that they had no conflicts of interest.
SOURCE: Zhang T et al. J Microbiol Immunol Infect. 2020 Aug 1. doi: 10.1016/j.jmii.2020.07.008.