A randomized, double-blind, multicenter study of caspofungin versus liposomal amphotericin B for empiric antifungal therapy in pediatric patients with persistent fever and neutropenia.
Author(s): Maertens JA, Madero L, Reilly AF, Lehrnbecher T, Groll AH, Jafri HS, Green M, Nania JJ, Bourque MR, Wise BA, Strohmaier KM, Taylor AF, Kartsonis NA, Chow JW, Arndt CA, DePauw BE, Walsh TJ, Caspofungin Pediatric Study Group
Affiliation(s): Acute Leukemia and Stem Cell Transplantation Unit, Department of Hematology, University Hospitals Leuven, Campus Gasthuisberg, Leuven, Belgium.
Publication date & source: 2010-05, Pediatr Infect Dis J., 29(5):415-20.
Publication type: Multicenter Study; Randomized Controlled Trial; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
BACKGROUND: Persistently febrile neutropenic children at risk for invasive fungal infections receive empiric antifungal therapy as a standard of care. However, little is known about the role of echinocandins and liposomal amphotericin B (L-AmB) for empiric antifungal therapy in pediatric patients. METHODS: Patients between the ages of 2 to 17 years with persistent fever and neutropenia were randomly assigned to receive caspofungin (70 mg/m loading dose on day 1, then 50 mg/m daily [maximum 70 mg/d]) or L-AmB (3 mg/kg daily) in a 2:1 ratio. Evaluation of safety was the primary objective of the study. Efficacy was also evaluated, with a successful outcome defined as fulfilling all components of a prespecified 5-part composite endpoint. Suspected invasive fungal infections were evaluated by an independent, treatment-blinded adjudication committee. RESULTS: Eighty-two patients received study therapy (caspofungin 56, L-AmB 26), and 81 were evaluated for efficacy (caspofungin 56; L-AmB 25). Outcomes for safety and efficacy endpoints were similar for both study arms. Adverse drug-related event rates [95% confidence interval] were similar between the caspofungin and L-AmB groups (clinical 48.2% [34.7-62.0] versus 46.2% [26.6-66.6]; laboratory 10.7% [4.0-21.9] versus 19.2% [6.6-39.4]). Serious drug-related adverse events occurred in 1 (1.8%) of caspofungin-treated patients and 3 (11.5%) of L-AmB-treated patients. Overall success rates [95% CI] were 46.4% [33.4-59.5] for caspofungin and 32.0% [13.7-50.3] for L-AmB. CONCLUSIONS: Caspofungin and L-AmB were comparable in tolerability, safety, and efficacy as empiric antifungal therapy for persistently febrile neutropenic pediatric patients.