Combination antifungal therapy for invasive aspergillosis a randomized trial

Academic Article


  • Background: Invasive aspergillosis (IA) is associated with poor outcomes in patients with hematologic malignancies (HMs) and hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). Small studies suggest a role for combination antifungal therapy. Objective: To assess the safety and efficacy of voriconazole and anidulafungin compared with voriconazole monotherapy for treatment of IA. Design: Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled multicenter trial. ( NCT00531479) Setting: 93 international sites. Patients: 454 patients with HM or HCT and suspected or documented IA were randomly assigned to treatment with voriconazole and anidulafungin or placebo. Primary analysis was done in the modified intention-to-treat population of 277 patients in whom IA was confirmed. Measurements: The primary outcome was 6-week mortality; secondary outcomes included 12-week mortality, mortality in major subgroups, and safety measures. Results: Mortality rates at 6 weeks were 19.3% (26 of 135) for combination therapy and 27.5% (39 of 142) for monotherapy (difference, -8.2 percentage points [95% CI, -19.0 to 1.5]; P = 0.087). Secondary mortality outcomes favored combination therapy. Multivariable regression analysis suggested that maximum galactomannan value, Karnofsky score, and baseline platelet count had prognostic significance. Most patients (218 of 277 [78.7%]) had IA diagnosis established by radiographic findings and maximum galactomannan positivity. In a post hoc analysis of this dominant subgroup, 6-week mortality was lower in combination therapy than monotherapy (15.7% [17 of 108] vs. 27.3% [30 of 110]; difference, -11.5 percentage points [CI, -22.7 to -0.4]; P = 0.037). Safety measures, including hepatotoxicity, were not different. Limitations: Mortality at 6 weeks was higher than expected, and the difference in mortality was lower than expected, which reduced power to detect a treatment effect. Enrollment was restricted to patients with HM or HCT, which limited generalizability. Conclusion: Compared with voriconazole monotherapy, combination therapy with anidulafungin led to higher survival in subgroups of patients with IA. Limitations in power preclude definitive conclusions about superiority. Primary Funding Source: Pfizer.
  • Published In

  • ACP journal club  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Marr KA; Schlamm HT; Herbrecht R; Rottinghaus ST; Bow EJ; Cornely OA; Heinz WJ; Jagannatha S; Koh LP; Kontoyiannis DP
  • Start Page

  • 81
  • End Page

  • 89
  • Volume

  • 162
  • Issue

  • 2