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Cancer. 2006 Jan 15;106(2):466-73.

Efficacy of caspofungin against invasive Candida or invasive Aspergillus infections in neutropenic patients.

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  • 1Department of Infectious Diseases, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York, USA.



Neutropenia is an indicator of poor prognosis in patients with fungal infections. All available clinical trial experience from the caspofungin development program was reviewed to ascertain the efficacy of caspofungin in neutropenic patients with documented invasive aspergillosis (IA) or invasive candidiasis (IC).


The review was limited to neutropenic patients with proven IC or proven/probable IA at caspofungin onset. Data were available from four clinical trials. All patients had an absolute neutrophil count < 500/mm(3) at the initiation of caspofungin. In all cases caspofungin was administered as monotherapy at a dose of 50 mg/day, after a 70-mg loading dose. In all patients efficacy was assessed at the completion of caspofungin therapy. Success included complete and partial responses.


Sixty-eight neutropenic patients were identified with documented invasive infection, including 27 with IC and 41 with IA. Most patients had acute or chronic leukemia. A favorable response was noted in 63% (17 of 27 patients) of patients with IC, including a 58% (14 of 24 patients) response as first-line therapy and a 100% (3 of 3 patients) response as salvage therapy. Success in candidemia was 68% (17 of 25 patients). Outcomes across the different Candida species were similar. Favorable responses were noted in 39% (16 of 41 patients) of patients with IA, including a 42% (5 of 12 patients) response as first-line therapy and 38% (11 of 29 patients) response as salvage therapy. Success by site of IA was 40% for pulmonary (12 of 30 patients), 43% for sinus (3 of 7 patients), and 25% for skin/disseminated site (1 of 4 patients).


A review of the caspofungin database demonstrates that this echinocandin is effective in neutropenic patients with documented cases of IC or IA.

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