Pediatric patients receiving cancer treatment with myelosuppressive chemotherapy were eligible. Neutropenic infection was the primary outcome and defined as (i) fever with neutropenia or (ii) hospital admission and treatment for clinical infection and neutropenia. The rate of neutropenic infection was compared with Student’s t-test for independent samples. Documented infections were identified by comprehensive chart review and compared between groups using a χ2 test.
: One hundred fifty patients were randomly assigned to FSGs (n = 73) or ND + FSGs (n = 77). The most common diagnoses were acute lymphoblastic leukemia (32%) and sarcoma (32%). There was no significant difference between the groups in the percentage of patients who developed neutropenic infection: FSGs 33% versus ND + FSGs 35% (P = 0.78). Patients randomized to ND + FSGs reported that following the diet required more effort than those on FSGs alone.
The ND offers no benefit over FSGs in the prevention of infection in pediatric oncology patients undergoing myelosuppressive chemotherapy and adherence requires more effort for patients and families. Institutions caring for children with cancer should consider replacing ND guidelines with FSGs.