Navigation Links
New survey highlights growing concern about risk of infection in cancer patients

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif., May 27, 2009 Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN) today announced the results of a national Harris Interactive, Inc. survey indicating that the vast majority of oncologists and infectious disease (ID) specialists are highly concerned about the negative impact infection may have on treatment outcomes in chemotherapy patients, as well as emerging antibiotic resistance. Nearly all oncologists surveyed (92 percent) believe it is important for cancer patients to prevent infections to achieve successful treatment outcomes. Antibiotic resistance is a growing concern among the majority of physicians surveyed, with 96 percent of ID specialists and 79 percent of oncologists reporting an increase in antibiotic-resistant infections in cancer patients over the past five years. Both groups of physicians report methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections as the most commonly observed in chemotherapy patients.

Cancer patients are at a higher risk for infection due to a compromised immune system caused by both the cancer and chemotherapy treatment. Neutropenia, a low white blood cell count, is a common and potentially dangerous side effect in patients receiving strong chemotherapy. It can lead to a heightened risk of infection that can require hospitalization and be life-threatening. Each year, 60,000 cancer patients are hospitalized for chemotherapy-induced neutropenia, and a patient dies every two hours from this complication. Neutropenia also can potentially disrupt chemotherapy treatment, including both dose delays and dose reductions. Studies show that for certain types of cancer, chemotherapy produces the best long-term results when patients receive the full dose on schedule.

"The survey findings show that one in four chemotherapy patients report having an infection during treatment, with more than a third requiring a second course of antibiotics," said Sean Harper, M.D., chief medical officer and head of Global Development at Amgen. "Infections associated with cancer treatment are increasing and are often serious, highlighting the need for a program to improve infection control and appropriate antibiotic management in these high-risk patients."

To help raise awareness of the risks and impact of infections in cancer patients, Amgen is joining forces with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Foundation, and the Divisions of Healthcare Quality and Promotion and Cancer Prevention and Control at CDC on a three-year initiative to provide resources and educational tools to help cancer patients, their caregivers and healthcare professionals.

The initiative includes the development of evidence-based curricula for healthcare providers on infection control for cancer patients and appropriate antibiotic stewardship, and an interactive online education tool for patients on what to expect from treatment, as well as how to prevent and manage infection during treatment.

"Programs to improve infection control in cancer patients, whose immune systems may be compromised by chemotherapy, will aid in saving the lives of these high-risk patients," said Charles Stokes, president and CEO of the CDC Foundation. "This initiative will bring together experts in oncology and infectious disease to raise awareness of this public health concern, and reduce the risk of infections, and ultimately, related deaths."

Survey Result Highlights:

Infections among chemotherapy patients are fairly common.

  • Nearly one in four patients surveyed (24 percent) had an infection in the last 12 months while receiving chemotherapy treatment. Of these patients:

    • 61 percent had more than one infection;
    • virtually all took at least a week to recover;
    • 22 percent reported taking four or more weeks to recover;
    • 52 percent had to go the emergency room due to an infection;
    • 42 percent were hospitalized, spending on average nine days in the hospital; and
    • 43 percent experienced chemotherapy treatment interruption.

  • ID specialists report seeing an average of 36 chemotherapy patients with an infection in a typical month.
  • 57 percent of ID specialists and 28 percent of oncologists have observed methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections as the most common infection in chemotherapy patients.

Antibiotic resistance is a growing concern.

  • Nearly all ID specialists (91 percent) report being very or extremely concerned about emerging antibiotic resistance in cancer patients.
  • More than half of all patients (51 percent) are extremely or very concerned about antibiotic resistance.
  • The issue of antibiotic resistance is the least likely to be discussed between physicians and patients, with 26 percent of oncologists (or nurses in their practice) discussing the issue before a cancer patient starts chemotherapy.

Oncologists believe antibiotics are overused in preventing infections.

  • 58 percent of oncologists believe antibiotics are overused in an effort to prevent infections in chemotherapy patients.
  • Approximately half of ID specialists and oncologists surveyed said that antibiotics are effective at minimizing the risk of infection.
  • There is general consensus among both ID specialists and oncologists (7 in 10) that washing hands frequently, avoiding sick people and using proper food handling techniques are effective strategies in minimizing a chemotherapy patient's risk for infection.

Physicians are concerned about the impact of infections in cancer patients.

  • 87 percent of ID specialists are extremely or very concerned about the impact of infections on overall outcomes for chemotherapy patients, including overall survival and disease-free survival.
  • Nearly half of cancer patients are not even aware that chemotherapy puts them at greater risk for an infection, and significant minorities of patients do not realize that an infection may in fact negatively impact the outcomes of their chemotherapy treatment.

    • 36 percent disagree or strongly disagree that their chances for successful cancer treatment could be lower due to a dose reduction and/or delay in their chemotherapy schedule;
    • one out of four patients believes it doesn't matter if they have to take a break from their chemotherapy schedule, because they can just start back up again later; and
    • almost one-quarter of patients (22 percent) believe it doesn't matter if their doctor lowers the dose of chemotherapy treatment, because the doctor can always increase the dose later without any effect on overall treatment.

Survey Methodology

The survey was conducted by Harris Interactive, Inc. an independent market research and polling organization, with support from Amgen Inc. The survey included 430 interviews with cancer patients who are currently undergoing chemotherapy or who have undergone chemotherapy in the past 12 months, 150 oncologists and 151 infectious disease specialists. Data was collected from March 20, 2009 through April 15, 2009.

Methodology: Oncologists and Infectious Disease Specialists

Physician samples were drawn at random from the AMA master file of oncologists and infectious disease specialists. The AMA list was then matched to the Harris Interactive Online Physician Panel (HIPP) by ME number. Oncologists and infectious disease specialists on the AMA list who matched the HIPP were then included in the sampling frame and recruited to participate via e-mail invitation. Specialists in the AMA random draw who were not members of the HIPP were invited to participate via first-class mail. All e-mail and first-class mail invitations included a URL and password for one-time use to allow participants to log on to the Internet and participate in the survey research.

Methodology: Patients

Patients who were currently undergoing chemotherapy or had completed chemotherapy within the past year were recruited using the Harris Interactive Chronic Illness Panel (CIP). Patients were recruited to participate via e-mail invitation, which included a URL and password for one-time use to allow participants to log on to the Internet and participate in the survey research.


Contact: Ashleigh Koss
Amgen, Inc.

Related medicine news :

1. Survey reveals disparities in skin cancer knowledge, protection among high school students
2. New Survey Shows Americans are Still Concerned About Food Safety, Yet Still Not Smart About What They Like to Eat
3. One of the Largest Post-WHI Physician Surveys Shows More Education is Needed: Patient Misinformation About Hormone Therapy Remains High
4. Hospitals Could Improve Outcomes for Patients and Save Millions According to Hill-Rom 10th Annual Pressure Ulcer Survey
5. Youth Drug Use at a Five Year Low, New Survey Shows
6. Survey From The Partnership and MetLife Foundation Reveals Important Role Todays Grandparents Play in Teens Lives
7. Parental surveys boost diagnosis abilities of pediatricians
8. National Survey Shows Employee Fears About Consumer-Driven Health Plans on Decline
9. JHA Releases 2007 U.S. Group Disability Mid-Year Market Survey Results
10. PA Health Department Survey Shows Impact of Income, Gender, Other Factors on Health and Access to Health Care
11. Launch of second European Cancer Research Funding survey
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... 2015 , ... TransPack Volume 6 features 30 customizable transitions created exclusively for ... to wipes with blur & drop shadow options. Utilize the controls in the ... clip to the next with TransPack's easily customizable styles. , TransPack Volume ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... Workstation ... more than 30 HealthPostures’ dealers located throughout the United States, is OneStop Ergonomics. ... of corporate, industrial, manufacturing and government workers and organizational leaders that are introduced ...
(Date:11/29/2015)... Petersburg, FL (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 ... ... are available today from the new company, Sublime Beauty NATURALS®. All products are ... and natural products, like essential oils, organic facial serums and USDA Certified Organic ...
(Date:11/29/2015)... ... November 29, 2015 , ... Khanna Vision Institute based in Los Angeles, announced ... November 25th 2015. Peer Certification by the Board is done so the public knows ... is first obtained after the completion of three years of training or Residency in ...
(Date:11/29/2015)... ... November 29, 2015 , ... Key Housing, a top-rated corporate housing service for ... featured apartment community: Epic. In showcasing this featured apartment community in San Jose, Key ... rental market to efficiently find housing suitable to their needs by showcasing quality housing. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... , November 30, 2015 Mexico Healthcare ... and Life Sciences Report 2015 . --> Pharmaboardroom releases ... . Latin America , a country of ... , a country of over 122 million people. --> ... healthcare, pharmaceuticals, or life sciences insights into the second largest pharma ...
(Date:11/29/2015)... AMSTERDAM , Nov. 29, 2015   Royal ... data driven radiology solutions at the 2015 Radiological Society ... December 4 at McCormick Place in Chicago ... will experience the company,s broad portfolio of integrated ... Management solutions to increase clinical performance, improve workflow and ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... , Pays-Bas, November 27, 2015 ... au traitement photodynamique au Bremachlorin contre le cancer ... approche consistant à combiner l,immunothérapie au traitement photodynamique ... --> Une nouvelle approche consistant ... contre le cancer avancé.    ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: