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Posted by on Aug 20, 2019 in Leukemia | 0 comments

In a nutshell

This study aimed to compare the risk of infections after treatment completion for pediatric leukemia survivors and the general population.  

This study concluded that there was a significant association between history of leukemia therapy and increased risk of infections. 

Some background

Infections are a common complication during childhood leukemia treatment. There is limited data about the infectious risk in survivors of childhood leukemia. 

The relative rate (RR) of infections is the probability or risk of an infection in a population. It was not known if there was an association between leukemia treatment and increased risk of infections.  

Methods & findings

This study involved 2204 leukemia survivors who were relapse-free after 30 days of treatment. 11,020 people without a history of leukemia treatment served as controls. The main outcome was time to infections.  

The RR of infections was 51% higher after treatment completion, in leukemia survivors. At less than 1 year after treatment, there was a 77% higher risk of infections in leukemia survivors. At 1 to 4.99 years, this risk was 66% higher and at 5 years or more from the end of treatment, this risk was 29% higher in leukemia survivors compared with controls.  

For patients whose initial treatment was not a stem cell transplant, the RR of infections remained 29% higher for more than 5 years from the end of treatment. Infection-related death was also significantly increased in leukemia survivors. 

The bottom line

This study concluded that there was a significant association between history of leukemia therapy and an increased risk of infections. 

The fine print

Further studies are needed to establish which exposures in patients with leukemia lead to late infections. 

What’s next?

Consult your physician about the risk of infection following leukemia treatment.  

Published By :

Journal of clinical oncology

Date :

Aug 08, 2019

Original Title :

Long-Term Risk of Infections After Treatment of Childhood Leukemia: A Population-Based Cohort Study Using Administrative Health Data.

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