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CDC Foundation Partners with Amgen, CDC to Reduce Infections Among Cancer Patients
Date:5/27/2009

ATLANTA, May 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Foundation, CDC and Amgen today announced the launch of a three-year campaign to reduce infections among cancer patients. The campaign will provide resources and educational tools to help patients, families and healthcare providers better prevent and manage treatment-related infections.

"Cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy are at a higher risk for infections, which can impact their treatment success, lead to hospitalization and cause life-threatening complications," says Charles Stokes, president and CEO of the CDC Foundation. "This partnership between the CDC Foundation, CDC and Amgen brings together experts and resources from government and the private sector to address a critical health issue for cancer patients."

Each year, according to a 2005 study published in Cancer, 60,000 cancer patients in the United States are hospitalized for chemotherapy-related neutropenia - or low white blood cell count - which is a risk for serious infection, and a patient dies every two hours from this complication.

Healthcare professionals are highly concerned about the impact that infections have on treatment outcomes. According to a new Harris Interactive, Inc. survey of oncologists, infectious disease (ID) specialists and patients, 92 percent of oncologists say it is extremely to very important to prevent infections to achieve successful outcomes in chemotherapy patients.

Physicians are also concerned about emerging antibiotic resistance in this population, 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.

"We know that patients who acquire drug-resistant infections have more severe illness and higher risk of death," says Arjun Srinivasan, M.D., a medical epidemiolog
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SOURCE CDC Foundation
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