Imipenem/cilastatin therapy of infections in cancer patients

Gerald P. Bodey, Linda Elting, Paula Jones, Maria Elena Alvarez, Kenneth Rolston, Victor Fainstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Imipenem/cilastatin was administered during 153 febrile episodes occurring in cancer patients and the response rate was 68%. Considering only documented infections the response rate was 71%. Patients who received imipenem as initial therapy had a higher response rate than patients who received it after failing other antibiotics (77% versus 68%). The overall response rates for septicemias and pneumonias were 75% and 58%. Among the 57 gram-negative infections 77% responded, but the response rate was substantially higher if imipenem was used as initial therapy (94% versus 69%). The poorest response rate was observed when imipenem was given as secondary therapy for Pseudomonas infections (50%), but most of these patients had failed to respond to other appropriate antibiotics. The only serious side effect was seizures which occurred in ten patients, although eight of them had other predisposing factors. Imipenem appears to be a useful antibiotic for treatment of infections, even in neutropenic cancer patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)255-262
Number of pages8
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 15 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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