In recent years, substantial advances have been achieved in the treatment of mucormycosis. It is now clear that early initiation of therapy results in substantially better outcomes, underscoring the need to maintain a high index of suspicion and aggressively biopsy potential lesions. Increasing data support the need for surgical excision of infected and/or necrosed tissue whenever feasible. Based on their superior safety and efficacy, lipid formulations of amphotericin B have become the standard treatment for mucormycosis. Posaconazole may be useful as salvage therapy, but cannot be recommended as primary therapy for mucormycosis based on available data. Pre-clinical and limited retrospective clinical data suggest that combination therapy with lipid formulations of amphotericin and an echinocandin improves survival during mucormycosis. A definitive trial is needed to confirm these results. The use of the iron chelator, deferasirox, as adjunctive therapy also improved outcomes in animal models of mucormycosis. However, its efficacy was not confirmed in a recent, phase 2 clinical trial. Additional study is required of the potential for abrogation of iron acquisition as adjunctive treatment of mucormycosis. Combination polyene-posaconazole therapy was of no benefit in pre-clinical studies. Adjunctive therapy with recombinant cytokines, hyperbaric oxygen, and/or granulocyte transfusions can be considered in selected patients. Large-scale, prospective, randomized clinical trials are needed to define optimal management strategies for mucormycosis.
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- Recent Advances in the Treatment of Mucormycosis
Ashraf S. Ibrahim
- Current Science Inc.
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