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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 50  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 254-260

Presentation, complications, and impact of concurrent malaria infection on anticancer therapy

Department of Medical Oncology, Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, India

Correspondence Address:
K Prabhash
Department of Medical Oncology, Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-509X.118734

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Background: There is very limited data on the effects of malaria on on-going anticancer therapy. Materials and Methods: We performed a retrospective analysis of adult solid tumor patients who contracted malaria while on active anticancer therapy. We noted their demographic profile, clinical course and the effects of malaria infection on their on-going anticancer therapy. Analysis was done with simple percentages. Results: We analyzed 33 malarial episodes in 30 patients over 3 months. Plasmodium vivax was the most common type of infection (75%). Presenting symptoms included the typical triad of fever with chills and rigors. Malaria caused multiple complications, necessitating hospitalization in half of the patients and intensive care unit care in 1 of 8 patients. Common complications included thrombocytopenia (73%), anemia (67%), hyponatremia (66%), hepatic dysfunction (27%), and hypotension (12%). There were no deaths as a result of malaria. Malaria caused treatment delays with an average of 2.42 days per event. Plasmodium vivax caused more complications and therapy delays, average: 3.7 days per event, while non-vivax malaria caused an average of 0.5 days delay per event. There was a high level of resistance to chloroquine. Conclusion: Malaria is a significant problem in adult solid tumor patients, leading to multiple complications and therapy delays.


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