Low Infectious Morbidity after Intensive Chemotherapy and Autologous Peripheral Blood Progenitor Cell Transplantation in the Outpatient Setting for Women with Breast Cancer


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Abstract

Autologous peripheral blood progenitor cell (PBPC) transplantation is increasingly employed in the outpatient setting, yet data on early complications following PBPC transplantation are scant. We evaluated 105 women with high-risk primary or metastatic breast cancer who were treated at a single institution during 1996-1997. The mean duration of neutropenia (absolute neutrophil count, <500 cells/mm3) was 7.5 days. Twenty-nine percent of women remained afebrile throughout the neutropenic period. Of the remaining 71%, most (64 of 75) had fever of unknown origin. Infections, mostly of mild severity, occurred in 34% of women; these infections included bacteremia due to gram-positive organisms, catheter site infection, cellulitis, pneumonia, oral candidiasis, herpes simplex virus infection, and vaginitis. Fifty percent of PBPC transplant recipients required hospital admission, usually because of persistent fever; the mean duration of hospitalization was 3 days. No deaths or serious adverse events occurred. Such reduced infectious morbidity may be a consequence of minimal oral and/or gastrointestinal mucositis associated with the conditioning regimen and broad-spectrum antimicrobial prophylaxis used for this patient population.

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