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ASH 2017: Antibiotics to Counteract Infections in Newly Diagnosed Patients With Myeloma

By: Sarah Jackson
Posted: Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Infection occurring during the first 12 weeks of treatment of multiple myeloma is the biggest cause of early death rates when undergoing therapy. In an effort to counteract infection, Mark T. Drayson, MD, PhD, of the Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy, University of Birmingham, UK, and colleagues conducted a trial to assess the benefits of prophylactic levofloxacin on infections associated with health care. Dr. Drayson presented the results of the double-blind phase III TEAMM trial at the 2017 American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting & Exposition (Abstract 903).

The quinolone antibiotic levofloxacin seems to be effective against common bacterial infections that frequently develop with the treatment of myeloma, and if taken once daily, it may be effective prophylactically, according to Dr. Drayson. A total of 977 participating patients were randomized to 2 groups over 12 weeks, with roughly half receiving placebo and the other half receiving levofloxacin. A total of 586 infections occurred, with 329 infections occurring in the placebo arm and 257 infections occurring in the levofloxacin arm.

The researchers found that levofloxacin reduced febrile episodes and deaths without increasing infections associated with health care or carriage of key nosocomial pathogens in those treated for multiple myeloma. As for periods extending longer than 12 weeks, the investigators noted further clinical trials are needed to determine the value of longer-term levofloxacin with or without sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim.