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August 1989

Neoplastic Fever: A Proposal for Diagnosis

Author Affiliations

Department of Medicine Wright State University School of Medicine and Good Samaritan Hospital and Health Center Dayton, OH 45406

Arch Intern Med. 1989;149(8):1728-1730. doi:10.1001/archinte.1989.00390080014004

Neoplastic fever is a well-recognized phenomenon occurring in certain patients with cancer. It has been seen in Hodgkin's disease, non-Hodgkin's lymphomas, acute and chronic leukemias, multiple myeloma, and other solid tumors.1-10 Neoplastic fever has been also observed during severe granulocytopenia following intensive cytotoxic chemotherapy for cancer.11-14 In about 20% of patients with fever of undetermined origin, fever has been caused by cancer,2 and neoplastic fever has been the major cause of fever of undetermined origin in patients with cancer.15 Since fever is a very common problem in patients receiving cytotoxic chemotherapy and can be caused not only by infection but also by cancer itself, it is crucial for the clinician to be able to establish a definite diagnosis of neoplastic fever during management of cancer.

In this article, fever-producing conditions in patients with cancer are discussed, and clinical features of neoplastic fever are reviewed. On the

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