To study dapsone in comparison with trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (TMP/SMX) for Pneumocystis jiroveci (PJP) prophylaxis in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).Design:
A retrospective study with a prospective follow-up.Patients:
Pediatric ALL patients diagnosed between May 2009 and May 2014, who are still receiving or have completed their maintenance chemotherapy. Patients who completed chemotherapy were prospectively followed up for neutropenia.Methods:
TMP/SMX was used as the initial PJP prophylaxis. An alternative drug was indicated if the patient remained cytopenic for >3 weeks. Average absolute neutrophilic count (ANC), average % of oral mercaptopurine (6-MP), and methotrexate doses were calculated over a period of 6 months before and after shifting to dapsone.Results:
Sixty-two ALL patients were eligible for analysis. Twenty-four patients (38.7%) received TMP/SMX for PJP prophylaxis, whereas 34 patients received Dapsone (54.8%). Only 3 patients received IV pentamidine (4.8%), whereas 1 patient (1.6%) received atovaquone. The incidence of prophylaxis failure was 1/1041 months on TMP/SMX and 1/528 months on dapsone. After shifting to dapsone, patients maintained significantly higher ANC (1.46±0.46 vs. 1.17±0.40, P=0.0053), and received significantly higher doses of 6-MP (62.61%±11.45 vs. 57.45±10.14, P=0.0081) and methotrexate (64.9%±14.29 vs. 56.5%±9.9, P=0.0176), with a significantly shorter duration of chemotherapy interruption (1.94±1.2 vs. 3.25±1.29 wk, P=0.0002).Conclusions:
Dapsone for PJP prophylaxis in ALL allowed patients to maintain higher ANC and to receive higher doses of chemotherapy, while maintaining a low incidence of PJP breakthrough infection.