Research suggests four factors predict risk of adverse events in patients with fever, neutropenia

-- A. Agrawal, PhD

Thursday, March 18, 2010 (Last Updated: 03/19/2010)

THURSDAY, March 18 (HealthDay News) -- A score based on four factors can accurately predict the risk of adverse events such as infection in pediatric cancer patients with fever and chemotherapy-induced neutropenia, according to research published online March 15 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

To develop a score to predict the risk of adverse events, Roland A. Ammann, M.D., from the University of Bern in Switzerland, and colleagues analyzed data from 423 episodes of fever and neutropenia in 206 pediatric cancer patients.

The researchers found that an adverse event was reported in 29 percent of episodes. Adverse events were better predicted at reassessment than at presentation. A weighted score predicting the risk of adverse events was developed based on chemotherapy intensity before fever and neutropenia, hemoglobin level, leukocyte count, and platelet count. The score classified 35 percent of the episodes as low risk of future adverse events.

"This score, based on four routinely accessible characteristics, accurately identifies pediatric patients with cancer with fever and neutropenia at risk for adverse events after reassessment," Ammann and colleagues conclude. "Its cross-validated predictive performance compares favorably with published risk prediction rules for adverse events or related end points."

The study was supported by unrestricted research grants from Oncosuisse/Swiss Cancer League, Bayer AG, and GlaxoSmithKline AG.

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