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Chemotherapy-related infections.

Levofloxacin prevented infections following chemotherapy for cancer in two recent studies, but concerns remain about emerging resistance.

In one randomized study of 760 patients with chemotherapy-induced neutropenia, Giampaolo Bucaneve, M.D., of Hospital Policlinico Monteluce, Perugia, Italy, and his colleagues found that levofloxacin reduced the risk of fever by 20%, lowered documented infections by 17%, and reduced bacteremias by up to 16% (N. Engl. J. Med. 2005;353:977-87).

In another randomized study of 1,565 chemotherapy patients, Michael Cullen, M.D., of the University of Birmingham (England) and colleagues found that levofloxacin reduced the incidence of fever, compared with placebo: 4% of treatment patients vs. 8% on placebo had at least one fever during the first chemotherapy course. Levofloxacin reduced infection, severe infection, and hospitalization for infection rates (N. Engl. J. Med. 2005;353:988-98).

In an editorial, Lindsey R. Baden, M.D., wrote that patients at greatest risk, the period of increased risk, and the likelihood of the emergence of resistant organisms need to be defined. Improvement in risk stratification will minimize unnecessary use of antimicrobials and preserve the benefits described in the two studies (N. Engl. J. Med. 2005;353:1052-4).
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Author:Worcester, Sharon
Publication:Internal Medicine News
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 15, 2005
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