Mortality of bone marrow transplant (BMT) patients who develop invasive fungal infection is greater than 80%. Long-term follow-up of 46 consecutive BMT patients who received recombinant human macrophage colony-stimulating factor (rhM-CSF) as adjunctive therapy with standard antifungal treatment who were entered into phase I/II trials at The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center is reported. rhM-CSF (100 micrograms/m2 to 2,000 micrograms/m2; Chiron/Cetus Corporation, Emeryville, CA) was administered from day 0 to 28 after determination of progressive fungal disease. Results of long-term follow-up of fungal infection, relapse, and survival were compared with 58 similar historical controls. Multivariable analysis of the patients who received rhM-CSF showed two factors that significantly correlated with poor survival: Karnofsky score < or = 20% and Aspergillus infection. Overall, survival of patients who received rhM-CSF was greater than that of historical patients (27% v 5%) and was entirely because of a 50% survival rate in patients with Candida infection and Karnofsky scores greater than 20%. Prospective, randomized, controlled trials to determine efficiency of rhM-CSF are indicated and should be directed at patients with invasive candidiasis.

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