Infectious diseases are important causes of morbidity and mortality in patients with cancer. In certain instances, the malignancy itself can predispose patients to severe or recurrent infections. Neutropenia has been recognized for many decades as a major risk factor, and effective strategies to anticipate, prevent, and manage infectious complications in patients with cancer experiencing neutropenia have led to improved outcomes. Reflecting the heterogeneity of immunocompromised conditions in patients with cancer and the spectrum of pathogens to which they are susceptible, NCCN expanded the scope of the Fever and Neutropenia Panel in 2007 to create guidelines on Prevention and Treatment of Cancer-Related Infections. These guidelines, newly updated for 2008, characterize major categories of immunologic deficits in persons with cancer and the major pathogens to which they are susceptible.
For the most recent version of the guidelines, please visit NCCN.org