June 1981

Combination Therapy With Ticarcillin and Sulfamethoxazole-Trimethoprim for Infections in Patients With Cancer

Author Affiliations

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

Arch Intern Med. 1981;141(7):926-930. doi:10.1001/archinte.1981.00340070106021

• Intravenous (IV) antibiotic therapy with a combination of ticarcillin disodium and sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim was administered as initial empiric treatment of 218 febrile episodes in patients with cancer. Seventy-nine (77%) of 102 episodes of infection were cured, and the temperature returned to normal in 88 (74%) of 199 febrile episodes without proved infection. The response rates for the major sites of infection were as follows: septicemia, 89%; pneumonia, 52%; soft-tissue infections, 85%; and urinary tract infections, 100%. The cure rate of Gramnegative aerobic bacillary infections was 87%. No significant influence of initial neutrophil count on response rate was noted, although patients in whom the neutrophil count increased during therapy had a higher response rate (84%) than patients in whom the neutrophil count decreased or remained stable (72%). The combination of ticarcillin and IV sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim is satisfactory initial empiric antibiotic therapy for febrile episodes in neutropenic patients with cancer.

(Arch Intern Med 1981;141:926-930)