In Norway, initial treatment of febrile neutropenia (FN) has traditionally been benzylpenicillin plus an aminoglycoside. Internationally, FN is often treated with a broad-spectrum ß-lactam antibiotic. We aimed to compare these two regimens in a prospective, randomized, trial in patients with lymphoma or leukaemia with an expected period of neutropenia =7 days, and a suspected bacterial infection.
Adult neutropenic patients with lymphoma or leukaemia, and a suspected bacterial infection, were randomized for treatment with benzylpenicillin plus an aminoglycoside or meropenem. The primary endpoint was clinical success, defined as no modification of antibiotics and clinical stability 72 h after randomization.
Among 322 randomized patients, 297 proved evaluable for analyses. Fifty-nine per cent (95% CI 51%-66%), (87/148) of the patients given benzylpenicillin plus an aminoglycoside were clinically stable, and had no antibiotic modifications 72 h after randomization, compared with 82% (95% CI 75%-87%), (122/149) of the patients given meropenem (p
The prevalence of resistant enterococci varies geographically. In the present study we looked at the carrier rate of resistant enterococci in the hematology and gastrointestinal surgery units of a tertiary care hospital in Norway. Anal swabs were taken from all 82 hospitalized patients on 4 different dates, at least 4 weeks apart, in 1995. 51% had positive cultures for enterococci. 6% of all patients carried enterococci resistant to ampicillin. 7% carried enterococci with high-level gentamicin resistance. Two strains resistant to vancomycin were found, including the first vanA Enterococcus faecium isolated in a Norwegian hospital. There was a correlation between use of antibiotics and being a carrier of enterococci per se, but the correlation with resistant enterococci did not reach statistical significance owing to the small number of isolates. The carrier rates both for presence of enterococci and for resistant enterococci were generally lower than those found in other studies.
The aim of the present investigation was to obtain information about treatment, clinical course and outcome for all patients with chronic myeloid leukaemia through a six-year period in a defined part of Norway. A total number of 141 patients fulfilled the diagnostic criteria. This is equivalent to 0.9 patients per 100,000 per year. The median age was 62 years. More than 70% of the patients were primarily treated with hydroxyurea, either alone or combined with interferon. 40 out of 57 patients younger than 55 years underwent allogeneic stem cell transplantation. Median survival for all patients was 36 months with an estimated five-year survival rate of 33%. Patients older than 55 years had a median survival of 30 months with 16% alive after five years. The five-year survival rate for patients younger than 55 years was 56%, for transplanted patients 72%. 60 of 84 patients older than 55 years have died after 4 1/2 years median observation time. Two thirds of those died of leukaemia; one third of other causes. 23 of 57 patients younger than 55 years have died. 11 of them had had transplantations and most of them died from transplantation-related causes, while leukaemia was the dominating cause of death in the others.
High-dose chemotherapy (HDC) with autologous peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) support is a common but expensive treatment for various hematological malignancies. A prospective cost analysis of evaluation/mobilization and the HDC + PBSC phase for patients with multiple myeloma was performed. Eleven consecutive patients at the National University Hospital Oslo, taking part in a Nordic treatment protocol, were included in the analysis during the period from May 1999 to December 2000. Clinical and resource use data were obtained prospectively on a daily basis registration and from patient records.The total cost for the evaluation/mobilization and the HDC + PBSC phase varied from 22,999 US dollars to 61,722 US dollars (mean 38,186 US dollars; median 30,569 US dollars). The mean length of hospital stay for the evaluation/mobilization phase was 8 days (range 4-17 days) and for the HDC + PBSC phase 19 days (range 14-29 days). A statistically significant correlation was found between the length of hospital stay and hospital costs for both phases (P
High-dose therapy with autologous blood progenitor cell support is now routinely used for patients with certain malignant lymphomas and multiple myeloma. We performed a prospective cost analysis of the mobilization, harvesting and cryopreservation phases and the high-dose therapy with stem cell reinfusion and hospitalization phases. In total, 40 consecutive patients were studied at four different university hospitals between 1999 and 2001. Data on direct costs were obtained on a daily basis. Data on indirect costs were allocated to the specific patient based on estimates of relevant department costs (ie the service department's costs), and by means of predefined allocation keys. All cost data were calculated at 2001 prices. The mean total costs for the two phases were US$ 32,160 (range US$ 19,092-50,550). The mean total length of hospital stay for two phases was 31 days (range 27-37). A large part of the actual cost in the harvest phase was attributed to stem cell mobilization, including growth factors, harvesting and cryopreservation. In the high-dose chemotherapy phase, the most significant part of the costs was nursing staff. Average total costs were considerably higher than actual DRG-based reimbursement from the government, indicating that the treatment of these patients was heavily subsidized by the basic hospital grants.
In a population-based study, the Nordic Myeloma Study Group found a survival advantage for high-dose melphalan with autologous blood stem-cell support compared to conventional chemotherapy in myeloma patients under 60 yr of age (risk ratio: 1.62; confidence interval [CI] 1.22-2.15; p = 0.001). A study of health-related quality of life (HRQoL) was integrated in the trial, using the EORTC QLQ-C30 questionnaire. Of the 274 patients receiving intensive therapy 221 (81%) were compared to 113 (94%) of 120 patients receiving conventional melphalan-prednisone treatment. Prior to treatment, there were no statistically significant differences in any HRQoL score between the two groups. One month after the start of induction chemotherapy, the patients on intensive treatment had more sleep disturbance than the control patients. At 6 mo, corresponding to a mean of 52 d after high-dose melphalan, the patients on intensive treatment had moderately lower scores for global QoL and role and social functioning and there was also a significantly higher score for appetite loss. At 12 and 24 mo, the HRQoL was similar to that of the control patients. At 36 mo, there was a trend toward less fatigue, pain, nausea, and appetite loss in the intensive-treatment group. Thus, the 18 mo of prolonged survival seem to be associated with a good health-related quality of life. Despite the moderate HRQoL reduction associated with the early intensive chemotherapy phase, this treatment modality must be regarded as an important step forward in the care of multiple myeloma.
BACKGROUND: Since the introduction of the simple cyclic oral treatment with melphalan and prednisone in the late 1960s, there has been no substantial improvement in the therapy of multiple myeloma. In 1994, the Nordic Myeloma Study Group initiated a population-based, prospective study to evaluate the impact on survival of high dose chemotherapy in newly diagnosed, symptomatic patients under 60 years of age, compared to a conventionally treated control group. MATERIAL AND METHODS: 274 patients were treated according to a specified high dose protocol and compared to 274 patients from previous population-based trials fulfilling the same eligibility criteria. RESULTS: Median survival was 44 months in the control group and 62 months in the intensive treatment group (risk ratio 1.65; 95% CI = 1.28-2.14, P = 0.0001). A study of health-related quality of life (HRQoL) which was integrated in the trial showed a moderately reduced HRQoL associated with the intensive treatment phase, but no statistically significant difference beyond the first year of follow-up. In a cost-utility analysis of the trial, the cost per (quality-adjusted life years) was estimated at USD 26,000. INTERPRETATION: The incremental cost of the treatment is within what is usually thought to be acceptable limits. Further improvement of the results and reduction of stay in hospital would give an even more favourable cost-utility ratio.
High-dose therapy has become a common treatment for myeloma. The objectives of this study were to estimate in a prospective, population-based setting the impact on survival of high-dose therapy in newly diagnosed, symptomatic patients less than 60 years old and to compare the results with those of conventionally treated historic controls. The prospective population comprised 348 patients. Of these, 274 were treated according to a specified intensive-therapy protocol (Nordic Myeloma Study Group [NMSG] #5/94) and constituted the intensive-therapy group. The historic population consisted of 313 patients identified from 5 previous population-based Nordic studies. Of these, 274 fulfilled the eligibility criteria for high-dose therapy stated in NMSG #5/94 and constituted the control group. The expected numbers of patients in the prospective population and the historic population were 450 and 410, respectively, estimated from previously established data on the incidence in this population and the population base for each study. Survival was prolonged in the intensive-therapy group compared with the control group (risk ratio for the control group 1.62; 95% confidence interval 1.22-2.15; P =.001). These groups represented more than 60% of the expected number of patients. When survival for all the registered patients in the 2 populations was compared, representing more than 75% of the expected number of patients, the advantage for the prospective population persisted (risk ratio for the historic population 1.46; 95% confidence interval 1.14-1.86; P =. 002). These results indicate that the introduction of high-dose therapy for newly diagnosed myeloma has resulted in prolonged survival for the total patient population aged less than 60 years. (Blood. 2000; 95:7-11)
Seven late relapses of acute lymphoblastic leukemia occurring 5.5 to 12.3 years after cessation of therapy are reported in 986 patients who had discontinued treatment for leukemia acquired before the age of 15. The study covers patients from the five Nordic countries. Of the 434 patients with ALL who had passed 5 years of follow-up without recurrence, seven have subsequently relapsed so far; an estimated cumulative proportion of 6.9% within the 10 years. In addition, we report a girl 15.9 years old at diagnosis who relapsed 7.3 years after cessation of therapy. These findings confirm that "cure" of acute lymphoblastic leukemia treated in the 1970s cannot be considered definite, even 5 years after discontinuation of therapy.
Chronic GVHD (cGVHD) associated bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (BOS) is a serious complication after allo-SCT, and lung transplantation (LTx) may be the ultimate treatment option. To evaluate this treatment, data on all patients with LTx after allo-SCT ever performed in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland were recorded and compared with survival data from the Scandiatransplant registry. In total, LTx after allo-SCT had been performed in 13 patients. Allo-SCT was done because of AML (n=6), CML (n=3), ALL (n=2), immunodeficiency (n=1) and aplastic anemia (n=1). All developed clinical cGVHD, with median interval from allo-SCT to LTx of 8.2 (0.7-16) years. Median age at LTx was 34 (16-55) years, and the median postoperative observation time was 4.2 (0.1-15) years. Two patients died, one due to septicemia, the other of relapsing leukemia, after 2 and 14 months, respectively. Four developed BOS, one of these was retransplanted. The survival did not significantly differ from the survival in matched LTx controls, being 90% 1 year and 75% 5 years after LTx compared with 85% and 68% in the controls. We therefore suggest that LTx may be considered in carefully selected patients with BOS due to cGVHD after allo-SCT.