Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia (PCP) is thought to be a rare phenomenon in the solid tumour population, particularly in patients with breast cancer. However, it may be increasing within this population as the type and intensity of chemotherapy used changes. There is currently a lack of consensus on PCP prophylaxis in patients who are immunocompromised due to chemotherapy.
The EPIC electronic health record system was searched for metastatic breast cancer (MBC) patients treated with a weekly chemotherapy (epirubicin/paclitaxel) regimen from October 2014 – February 2016 at Addenbrooke’s hospital (n = 49). A subset of patients diagnosed with PCP (n = 5) was identified. A retrospective analysis was performed on the charts of all patients.
Patients received a mean of 21 weeks (SD = 15, min=1, max=62) of chemotherapy. An overall of 16% (n = 8) of patients had profound lymphopaenia (absolute lymphocyte count
A high incidence of PCP was observed in MBC patients receiving weekly epirubicin/paclitaxel treatment. Additional investigation is needed to define the population of patients at the greatest risk of PCP infection, and to identify those who might benefit from antibiotic prophylaxis.
Clinical trial identification
Legal entity responsible for the study
Cambridge Cancer Centre
All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.