Philip A. Pizzo, M.D.

Publication Details

  • Monotherapy for empirical management of febrile neutropenic patients. NCI monographs : a publication of the National Cancer Institute Rubin, M., Pizzo, P. A. 1990: 111-116


    New fever in a neutropenic patient mandates prompt institution of empirical broad-spectrum antibiotics. Traditional empirical regimens have relied on combinations that include an aminoglycoside. However, certain classes of newer antibiotics (e.g., third-generation cephalosporins, carbapenems, quinolones) include agents with a broad spectrum and high bactericidal activity that may provide therapeutic alternatives to combination regimens. We previously compared empirical monotherapy with ceftazidime to a combination regimen of cephalothin, gentamicin, and carbenicillin and found the regimens comparable with respect to percentage with success (survival without change of initial regimen; 62% vs 67%), success with modification (survival with additional antibiotics; 33% vs 29%) and failure (death; 5% vs 4%). Imipenem has a broader in vitro spectrum of activity than ceftazidime, particularly against gram-positive organisms and anaerobes, raising the possibility of equivalent or even improved efficacy as monotherapy. Accordingly, we are prospectively randomizing febrile, neutropenic patients to either empirical ceftazidime or imipenem therapy. Imipenem appears to be comparable to ceftazidime in this ongoing study but has not resulted in fewer modifications or secondary infections. Studies assessing the role of quinolones in the management of neutropenic patients are under way.

    View details for PubMedID 2160613

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