Pneumocystis jirovecii prophylaxis in patients treated for high-grade gliomas: A survey among neuro-oncologists

Nebojša Skorupan, Surabhi Ranjan, Seema Mehta, Olga Yankulina, Nathan Nenortas, Stuart Grossman, Xiaobu Ye, Matthias Holdhoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PJP) is a known complication in patients with high-grade gliomas (HGGs) who are treated with radiation and chemotherapy. PJP prophylaxis is commonly recommended, but there are currently no clear guidelines regarding duration of treatment and choice of drugs. This study aimed to assess current practice patterns of PJP prophylaxis among neuro-oncologists. Methods: An online survey of 14 multiple choice questions was sent to 207 neuro-oncologists and medical oncologists treating brain cancers at all National Cancer Institute-designated cancer centers in the United States. Recipients were identified via a search of the cancer centers' websites. Results: Sixty-one invited experts completed the survey (response rate 29%; of these, 72% were neuro-oncologists, 18% were medical oncologists, and 10% were pediatric neuro-or medical oncologists). Seventy percent of respondents stated that they routinely prescribe PJP prophylaxis, while 7% do not provide prophylaxis. Eighty-one percent of respondents use absolute lymphocyte count (ALC) to assess lymphopenia and 13% also monitor CD4 lymphocyte counts during prophylaxis. The most commonly used first-line agent is trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (88% of respondents), followed by pentamidine (6%). Discontinuation of PJP prophylaxis is determined by the following: count recovery (33% by ALC; 18% by CD4 lymphocyte counts), radiation completion (23%), and chemotherapy completion (7%). Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase levels were routinely checked by only 13% of respondents. Conclusions: PJP prophylaxis is commonly used in HGG patients, but there are large variations in practice patterns, including the duration of prophylaxis. As consideration for PJP prophylaxis affects all patients with HGG, standardization of prophylaxis should be formally addressed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbernpy049
Pages (from-to)321-326
Number of pages6
JournalNeuro-Oncology Practice
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 27 2019


  • Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia
  • Pneumocystis jirovecii prophylaxis
  • glioblastoma
  • glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase
  • high-grade glioma
  • lymphopenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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