Acute oncology care: a narrative review of the acute management of neutropenic sepsis and immune-related toxicities of checkpoint inhibitors.
AffiliationUniversity Hospital of South Manchester, Manchester, UK
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AbstractCancer care has become increasingly specialized and advances in therapy have resulted in a larger number of patients receiving care. There has been a significant increase in the number of patients presenting with cancer related emergencies including treatment toxicities and those directly related to the malignancy. Suspected neutropenic sepsis is an acute medical emergency and empirical antibiotic therapy should be administered immediately. The goal of empirical therapy is to cover the most likely pathogens that will cause life-threatening infections in neutropenic patients. Patients with febrile neutropenia are a heterogeneous group with only a minority of treated patients developing significant medical complications. Outpatient management of low risk febrile neutropenia patients identified by the MASCC score is a safe and effective strategy. Immunotherapy with "checkpoint inhibitors" has significantly improved outcomes for patients with metastatic melanoma and evidence of benefit in a wide range of malignancies is developing. Despite these clinical benefits a number of immune related adverse events have been recognised which can affect virtually all organ systems and are potentially fatal. The timing of the onset of the adverse events is dependent on the organ system affected and unlike anti-neoplastic therapy can be delayed significantly after initiation or completion of therapy. The field of Acute Oncology is changing rapidly. Alongside, the traditional challenge of neutropenic sepsis there are many emerging toxicities. Further research into the optimal management, strategies and pathways of acutely unwell patients with cancer is required.
CitationAcute oncology care: a narrative review of the acute management of neutropenic sepsis and immune-related toxicities of checkpoint inhibitors. 2017, Eur J Intern Med
JournalEuropean Journal of Internal Medicine