Prophylaxis and treatment of invasive fungal infections in hematological patients

Alessandro Busca, Anna Candoni, Livio Pagano, Francesco Scaglione, Claudio Viscoli



The evidence from the literature strongly support antifungal prophylaxis in high risk haematological patients, such as patients with AML during remission induction chemotherapy and alloHSCT patients. Current antifungal prophylaxis guidelines for high risk patients recommend azoles (fluconazole, posaconazole, voriconazole) and echinocandins (micafungin) with the strongest level of evidence. In terms of treatment, the choice between empiric therapy (or fever driven) and pre-emptive therapy (or diagnostic driven) is still debated. Not a single therapeutic strategy is appropriate in every patients, in particular empirical antifungal therapy may be recommended in patients at very high risk, while a pre-emptive approach may be advised for those at standard risk. In order to exploit the synergistic and/or additive effect of two antifungal drugs it’s possible to combine two agents that work with different mechanisms of action (e.g. echinocandins + azoles or polyenes). Once the treatment has been initiated we should consider the therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) of the drugs, especially when the pharmacokinetic variability is high and the dose-concentration effect relationships is not predictable (e.g. for itraconazole, voriconazole and posaconazole).


Prophylaxis; Therapy; Invasive fungal disease

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