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Cancer. 2003 Jan 15;97(2):450-6.

Liposomal amphotericin B versus the combination of fluconazole and itraconazole as prophylaxis for invasive fungal infections during induction chemotherapy for patients with acute myelogenous leukemia and myelodysplastic syndrome.

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Department of Leukemia, the University of Texas M D Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.



Fungal infections are a major cause of morbidity and mortality in patients undergoing induction chemotherapy for acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). The authors evaluated the efficacy and toxicity of liposomal amphotericin B (L-AmB) compared with a combination of fluconazole plus itraconazole (F+I) as prophylaxis in this setting.


Patients with newly diagnosed AML or high-risk MDS who were undergoing initial induction chemotherapy were randomized to receive either F+I (fluconazole 200 mg orally every 12 hours plus itraconazole tablets 200 mg orally every 12 hours) or L-AmB (3 mg/kg intravenously 3 times per week) in this prospective, open-label study.


Seventy-two L-AmB-treated patients and 67 F+I-treated patients were enrolled in the study. Of these, 47% of patients completed antifungal prophylaxis without a change in therapy for proven or suspected fungal infection. Three patients in each arm developed a proven fungal infection. Twenty-three percent of the L-AmB-treated patients and 24% of the F+I-treated patients were changed to alternative antifungal therapy because of persistent fever (P value not significant). Nine percent of the L-AmB-treated patients developed pneumonia of unknown etiology compared with 16% of the F+I-treated patients (P value not significant). Increases in serum creatinine levels to > 2 mg/dL (20% for the L-AmB arm vs. 6% for the F+I arm; P = 0.012) and increases in serum bilirubin levels to > 2 mg/dL (43% vs. 22%, respectively; P = 0.021) were more common with L-AmB. Infusion-related reactions were noted in five L-AmB-treated patients. Responses to chemotherapy and induction mortality rates were similar for the two arms.


L-AmB and F+I appear similar in their efficacy as antifungal prophylaxis during induction chemotherapy for patients with AML and MDS. L-AmB was associated with higher rates of increased serum bilirubin and creatinine levels.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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