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Cancer Lett. 2011 Dec 26;313(1):9-14. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2011.08.024. Epub 2011 Aug 27.

Chemotherapy-induced neutropenia in lung cancer patients: the role of antibiotic prophylaxis.

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  • 1Oncology Unit, Sotiria General Hospital, Athens School of Medicine, Building Z, Mesogion 152, 11527 Athens, Greece.


Chemotherapy-induced neutropenia can cause fatal bacterial infections. Colony-stimulating factors (CSFs) are usually recommended as prophylaxis, while routine use of prophylactic antibiotics remains controversial. Based on our literature search in PubMed, quinolones and trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole were the most frequently used prophylaxis, while CSFs were administered in 22.1% of patients. Lung cancer patients who received prophylactic antibiotics exhibited significantly fewer episodes of febrile neutropenia, fewer documented infections as well as shorter duration of related hospitalisations. Prophylactic use of wide spectrum antibiotics seems effective and should be considered as an alternative strategy in the prevention of chemotherapy-induced neutropenia in lung cancer patients.

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