The Outpatient Management of Febrile Neutropenia in Cancer Patients
April 01, 1996
The discussion by Freifeld and Pizzo is a comprehensive summary of an important recent trend: the attempt to identify low-risk patients with fever and neutropenia and relax their therapy appropriately. It is not surprising that a summary from these authors would be definitive. Dr. Pizzo and his colleagues have defined many central elements of the therapy of fever and neutropenia: that broad-spectrum antibiotics should be continued after patients become afebrile while they remain neutropenic ; that an antifungal agent, amphotericin, should be added to prevent potentially serious fungal superinfection when patients remain febrile and neutropenic after 7 days ; and that monotherapy using ceftazidime alone is as effective as combination therapy with a semisynthetic penicillin and an aminoglycoside, particularly for low-risk patients . Their current review catalogs recent attempts to define less aggressive, costly, and restrictive therapy for low-risk patients with fever and neutropenia. I would add only a few comments based on our work at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.