Caspofungin at standard dose was evaluated as first-line monotherapy of mycologically documented probable/proven invasive aspergillosis (IA) (unmodified European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer/Mycosis Study Group criteria) in allogeneic hematopoietic SCT patients. The primary efficacy end point was complete or partial response at end of caspofungin treatment. Response at week 12, survival and safety were additional end points. Enrollment was stopped prematurely because of low accrual, with 42 enrolled and 24 eligible, giving the study a power of 85%. Transplant was from unrelated donors in 16 patients; acute or chronic GVHD was present in 15. In all, 12 patients were neutropenic (500/l) at baseline, 10 received steroids and 16 calcineurin inhibitors or sirolimus. Median duration of caspofungin treatment was 24 days. At the end of caspofungin therapy, 10 (42%) patients had complete or partial response (95% confidence interval: 22-63%); 1 (4%) and 12 (50%) had stable and progressing disease, respectively; one was not evaluable. At week 12, eight patients (33%) had complete or partial response. Survival rates at week 6 and 12 were 79 and 50%, respectively. No patient had a drug-related serious adverse event or discontinued because of toxicity. Caspofungin first-line therapy was effective and well tolerated in allogeneic hematopoietic SCT patients with mycologically documented IA.
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