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January 24, 1977

Sulfamethoxazole-Trimethoprim for Infections in Cancer Patients

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Developmental Therapeutics, University of Texas Cancer System Center, M.D. Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute, Houston.

JAMA. 1977;237(4):352-354. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03270310036004

A combination of sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim (Bactrim) was given orally to 35 cancer patients with infections. Thirty-two patients did not respond to an initial antibiotic regimen that consisted primarily of carbenicillin disodium and an aminoglycoside. There were 18 single-organism, Gramnegative infections. The overall cure rate was 54%. The most common infection was pneumonia (47% responded to treatment). Eighty percent of the cases of septicemia were cured. The most common infecting organism was Klebsiella pneumoniae (45% with this infection responded). Eight cases of infection of unknown origin occurred (63% responded to treatment). Overall, 47% of the patients whose neutrophil count remained unchanged or decreased responded, while 61% of those whose neutrophil count remained unchanged or increased responded. There was no close correlation between the minimum inhibitory concentrations and the clinical responses. Sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim orally is a well tolerated and effective form of antimicrobial therapy.

(JAMA 237:352-354, 1977)