Background: Some malignancies including lymphoma, head and neck cancer, and lung cancer are believed to be associated with the reactivation of tuberculosis (TB) because cyclic anti-cancer chemotherapy can induce the leukopenia or immunological deterioration. This report describes the clinical characteristics and treatment response of TB that developed during cyclic anti-cancer chemotherapy in patients with a solid tumor. Materials and Methods: From January 1 2000 to July 31 2004, patients with TB diagnosed microbiologically, pathologically, or clinically during anti-cancer chemotherapy in a tertiary hospital were enrolled, and their medical records were reviewed. Patients with the known risk factors for the reactivation of TB were excluded. Results: Twenty-two patients were enrolled and their mean age was 56.5 years (range 21-78). The male to female ratio was 3.4:1 and pulmonary TB was the main variant (20 patients, 90.9%). Gastric cancer (10 patients, 45.4%) and lymphoma (4 patients, 18.2%) were the leading underlying malignancies. The other malignancies included lung cancer, head and neck cancer, breast cancer, cervix cancer, and ovary cancer. Fifteen patients (68.2%) had a healed scar on a simple chest radiograph suggesting a previous TB infection. Among these patients, new TB lesions involved the same lobe or the ipsilateral pleura in 13 patients (87.6%). An isoniazid and rifampicin based regimen were started in all the subjects except for one patient with a hepatic dysfunction. The mean duration of medication was 9.9 ± 2.4 months and no adverse events resulting in a regimen change were observed. With the exception of 5 patients who died of the progression of the underlying malignancy, 70.6% (12/17) completed the anti-TB treatment. Conclusion: The clinical characteristics and response to anti-TB treatment for TB that developed during anti-cancer chemotherapy for a solid tumor were not different from those of patients who developed TB in the general population.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Infectious Diseases