OBJECTIVE: To study the safety and efficacy of fecal microbiota transplant (FMT) for Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) in patients with cancer treated with cytotoxic chemotherapy in a single-institution retrospective case series.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Twenty-three consecutive patients with underlying hematologic (n=13) or solid (n=10) malignancies who underwent FMT for recurrent CDI from August 1, 2012, through June 30, 2016, were studied.
RESULTS: All the patients had received cytotoxic chemotherapy a median of 12 months (range, 1-340 months) before FMT. Patients had experienced a median of 4 (range, 2-9) CDI episodes and had been treated with a median of 106 days (range, 42-495 days) of vancomycin, metronidazole, or fidaxomicin before FMT. Twelve patients (52%) had severe/severe-complicated CDI at some stage. Eight patients (35%) had active cancer and 5 (22%) had received chemotherapy within 12 weeks of FMT. Diarrhea resolved without recurrence within 60 days of FMT in all but 3 patients (13%) (all had negative C difficile results). Of the 22 patients who were alive 60 days or more after FMT, 11 (48%) underwent further chemotherapy and 10 (43%) received more antibiotics. Two patients (9%) developed recurrent CDI 14 and 22 months after FMT. One death occurred 5 days after FMT as a result of cardiac arrest unrelated to FMT. There were no other severe adverse events and no infectious complications directly attributable to FMT.
CONCLUSION: This series demonstrates that FMT is a highly effective and safe therapeutic option for multiply recurrent CDI in patients with cancer treated with cytotoxic chemotherapy.
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