Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis as severe adverse event of antineoplastic treatment in children

Herwig Lackner, Christian Urban, Petra Sovinz, Martin Benesch, Andrea Moser, Wolfgang Schwinger
Haematologica 2008, 93 (2): 291-4
Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) during childhood cancer treatment is a rare adverse event posing major diagnostic and therapeutic challenges. Between 1995 and 2006, 6 children developed HLH while on conventional chemotherapy (n=4) or after allogeneic stem cell transplantation (n=2). Treatment of HLH included dexamethasone and etoposide, 2 children additionally received infliximab or daclizumab. Three children survived, whereas 3 children died 2, 5, and 47 days after diagnosis of HLH. HLH is a severe adverse event of childhood cancer therapy. Early diagnosis and immediate initiation of adequate treatment are mandatory to overcome this severe condition.

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