Cancers (Basel). 2021 Apr 21;13(9):1990. doi: 10.3390/cancers13091990.
The purpose of this retrospective, single-center cohort study was to assess the infectious burden in pediatric sarcoma patients during neoadjuvant chemotherapy. The review included all patients with a new diagnosis of Ewing sarcoma, osteosarcoma or soft tissue sarcoma between September 2009 and December 2018 who were enrolled in the EWING 2008, CWS SoTiSaR and EURAMOS clinical trial or registry. Primary endpoints were the occurrence of febrile neutropenia (FN) and microbiologically documented infection (MDI). Parameters with a potential impact on FN and MDI were also analyzed. A total of 170 sarcoma patients (median age: 13 years, range: 0-21; 96 m/74 f) received 948 chemotherapy courses (median: 6; range: 2-8). Of these patients, 58.8% had ≥1 FN episode and 20.6% ≥ 1 MDI. FN occurred in 272/948 courses (28.7%) with fever of unknown origin (FUO) in 231 courses and 45 MDI and 19 clinically documented infections (CDI) occurring in a total of 57 courses. Patients enrolled in EWING 2008 had significantly more FN (p < 0.001), infections (p = 0.02) and MDI (p = 0.035). No infection-related deaths were observed. Younger age, tumor type and localization, and higher median and maximum mucositis grades were significantly associated with higher numbers of FN (p < 0.001), and younger age (p = 0.024) and higher median mucositis grade (p = 0.017) with MDI. The study shows substantial infectious morbidity in sarcoma patients during neoadjuvant chemotherapy treatment and opportunities to improve prevention and management.