Background: Invasive mold infections in children with hematological malignancies are associated with high mortality rates. The use of combination antifungal therapy in cases with a severe clinical course is increasing, although information on the efficacy and safety of this approach is limited.
Methods: We present a case series of 13 children affected by hemato-oncological disorders who received combination antifungal therapy for invasive mold infections at our center (Pediatric Hematology, San Gerardo Hospital, Monza, Italy) from 2011 to 2016, with the aim of describing their clinical characteristics, types of infections, treatment regimens, clinical outcomes, and treatment safety. Medical records were retrospectively reviewed in order to describe patients' characteristics.
Results: Combination antifungal therapy included liposomal amphotericin associated with caspofungin (5/13, 38.4%), voriconazole (5/13, 38.4%), or posaconazole (3/13, 23.1%). The 12-week treatment response rate was 69.2% (6/13 patients showed complete response, 3/13 partial response). The crude mortality was 30.7% (4/13): half was related to invasive mold infections (2/13, 15.38%) and half to disease progression (2/13, 15.38%). Overall, treatment was well tolerated, and we did not observe any permanent discontinuation of antifungals due to related side effects.
Conclusions: In our experience, combination antifungal therapy seems to be a safe option in immunocompromised children with invasive mold infections. Well-designed studies are needed to confirm the safety of this approach and to better understand its efficacy in the pediatric setting.