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Indian Journal of Medical and Paediatric Oncology
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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 37  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 53-58

Voriconazole is a safe and effective anti-fungal prophylactic agent during induction therapy of acute myeloid leukemia

1 Department of Medical Oncology, Cancer Institute (WIA), Adyar, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Radiodiagnosis, Cancer Institute (WIA), Adyar, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
3 Department of Microbiology, Cancer Institute (WIA), Adyar, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Prasanth Ganesan
Department of Medical Oncology, Cancer Institute (WIA), 36, Sardar Patel Road, Adyar, Chennai - 600 036, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0971-5851.177032

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Background: Antifungal prophylaxis (AFP) reduces the incidence of invasive fungal infections (IFIs) during induction therapy of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Posaconazole is considered the standard of care. Voriconazole, a generic cheaper alternative is a newer generation azole with broad anti-fungal activity. There is limited data on the use of voriconazole as a prophylactic drug. Materials and Methods: A single-center, prospective study was performed during which patients with AML undergoing induction chemotherapy received voriconazole as AFP (April 2012 to February 2014). Outcomes were compared with historical patients who received fluconazole as AFP (January 2011-March 2012, n = 66). Results: Seventy-five patients with AML (median age: 17 years [range: 1-75]; male:female 1.6:1) received voriconazole as AFP. The incidence of proven/probable/possible (ppp) IFI was 6.6% (5/75). Voriconazole and fluconazole cohorts were well-matched with respect to baseline characteristics. Voriconazole (when compared to fluconazole) reduced the incidence of pppIFI (5/75, 6.6% vs. 19/66, 29%; P < 0.001), need to start therapeutic (empiric + pppIFI) antifungals (26/75, 34% vs. 51/66, 48%; P < 0.001) and delayed the start of therapeutic antifungals in those who needed it (day 16 vs. day 10; P < 0.001). Mortality due to IFI was also reduced with the use of voriconazole (1/75, 1.3% vs. 6/66, 9%; P = 0.0507), but this was not significant. Three patients discontinued voriconazole due to side-effects. Conclusion: Voriconazole is an effective and safe oral agent for IFI prophylaxis during induction therapy of AML. Availability of generic equivalents makes this a more economical alternative to posaconazole.

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