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Sophia Koo and Lindsey R. Baden

Immunomodulating monoclonal antibodies are a relatively new addition to the armamentarium of cancer therapeutics and have been shown to improve clinical outcomes in patients with various hematologic malignancies. Because of their targeted nature, these agents are often believed to be less immunosuppressive than standard cytotoxic chemotherapeutic agents. A clear causal association between an immunomodulating therapy and its infectious sequelae is often difficult to discern because of the burden of comorbid illness, intrinsic immunosuppression from the underlying malignancy, use in the salvage setting, and prior and concomitant use of immunosuppressive agents in this patient population. This article evaluates better-established and anecdotal infectious complications associated with major immunomodulating therapies used in hematologic malignancy and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, including rituximab, alemtuzumab, gemtuzumab ozogamicin, infliximab, dacluzimab, and basiliximab.

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Nicolas C. Issa and Lindsey R. Baden

Vaccination is an important strategy for preventing infections in patients with hematologic malignancies. Hematopoietic cell transplant (HCT) recipients have diminished immunity against vaccine-preventable diseases after transplantation. Optimal timing for initiating immunization in the context of hematologic malignancies and after HCT, however, is not well defined, and data on the magnitude and duration of immune response to vaccines in this population are lacking. Factors such as degree of immunosuppression, administration of monoclonal antibodies, time after HCT, and presence or absence of chronic graft-versus-host disease may influence the immune response to vaccines and may pose safety concerns for certain vaccines, such as live-attenuated immunogens. Patients who received certain monoclonal antibodies (eg, rituximab, alemtuzumab) less than 6 months before vaccination have poorer immune responses to vaccines. New advancements in vaccine development are warranted to improve safety and immunogenicity of vaccination in immunocompromised patients.

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Sarah P. Hammond, Sankar Swaminathan, William I. Bensinger and Lindsey R. Baden

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Lindsey Robert Baden, Sankar Swaminathan, Michael Angarone, Gayle Blouin, Bernard C. Camins, Corey Casper, Brenda Cooper, Erik R. Dubberke, Ashley Morris Engemann, Alison G. Freifeld, John N. Greene, James I. Ito, Daniel R. Kaul, Mark E. Lustberg, Jose G. Montoya, Ken Rolston, Gowri Satyanarayana, Brahm Segal, Susan K. Seo, Shmuel Shoham, Randy Taplitz, Jeffrey Topal, John W. Wilson, Karin G. Hoffmann and Courtney Smith

Infectious diseases are important causes of morbidity and mortality in patients with cancer. The NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines) for Prevention and Treatment of Cancer-Related Infections characterize the major pathogens to which patients with cancer are susceptible, with a focus on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of major common and opportunistic infections. This portion of the guidelines highlights the sections on antifungal and antiviral prophylaxis. Antifungal and antiviral prophylaxis recommendations have expanded over the past few years. New agents for the treatment of fungal infections and incorporation of therapeutic drug monitoring are presented. Antiviral prophylaxis for hepatitis B and management considerations for hepatitis C and HIV have been further developed.

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Lindsey Robert Baden, William Bensinger, Michael Angarone, Corey Casper, Erik R. Dubberke, Alison G. Freifeld, Ramiro Garzon, John N. Greene, John P. Greer, James I. Ito, Judith E. Karp, Daniel R. Kaul, Earl King, Emily Mackler, Kieren A. Marr, Jose G. Montoya, Ashley Morris-Engemann, Peter G. Pappas, Ken Rolston, Brahm Segal, Susan K. Seo, Sankar Swaminathan, Maoko Naganuma and Dorothy A. Shead

Patients with cancer are at increased risk for developing infectious complications during the course of their disease and treatment. The following sections of the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines) for Prevention and Treatment of Cancer-Related Infections provide an overview of the risk factors for infectious complications, recommendations for infectious risk categorization, and strategies for prevention of infections in high-risk patient populations with cancer. Individualized risk evaluation for infections and incorporation of preventative measures are essential components of the overall spectrum of cancer care, and may contribute to optimizing treatment outcomes for patients.