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Eur J Cancer. 2002 Mar;38 Suppl 4:S82-7.

Management of infection in cancer patients. studies of the EORTC International Antimicrobial Therapy Group (IATG).

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University of Genoa, National Institute for Cancer Research, Largo Rosanna Benzi, 10, I-16132, Genoa, Italy.


Infection remains an important cause of morbidity and mortality in cancer patients, especially those undergoing chemotherapy for haematological malignancies. The practice of instituting an empirical broad-spectrum antibiotic therapy as soon as possible after the onset of fever has substantially reduced the clinical impact of this complication. In the last 25 years, the International Antimicrobial Therapy Group of the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC-IATG) have published nearly 30 articles and a number of abstracts on several facets of the epidemiology and management of infection in cancer patients. With a progressive methodological refinement, the EORTC-IATG trials have established the standard for the management of febrile neutropenia, both by setting methodologies and definitions and by testing several antibiotic regimens that are active and effective for this indication. With the aim of supporting a more rational use of antibiotics in cancer patients, the most recent trials have dealt with the management of low risk patients, showing the safety and feasibility of oral therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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