Prevention and Treatment of Cancer-Related Infections

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
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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

As the world's oldest and largest private cancer center, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) is committed to exceptional patient care, leading-edge research, and superb educational programs. The close collaboration between its physicians and scientists is one of the Center's core strengths. At Sloan-Kettering Institute, state-of-the-art research flourishes side-by-side with clinical investigation and treatment at Memorial Hospital, the nation's oldest cancer hospital. An essential component of MSKCC's mission is education—training future clinicians and scientists and providing unique programs in the study of biomedical sciences to advance the standard of cancer care worldwide.

The Center has more than 9,000 employees and last year had more than 21,000 inpatient admissions. The Center accommodated more than 430,000 outpatient visits at its Manhattan and regional sites combined.

Robert E. Wittes, MD (second picture on the cover), is Physician-in-Chief of Memorial Hospital. A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Medical School, Dr. Wittes previously served as Director of the Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis of the National Cancer Institute.

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