"Diagnoses of fungal and opportunistic infections are often delayed due to limitations of culture based diagnostics. Here we will develop novel molecular and immunological diagnostic pathways to improve patient outcomes."
The objective of this stream is to introduce novel technology to optimise clinical care for patients with cancer-related infections. Our research group has pioneered, published and piloted new technologies that could dramatically improve patient care with commercialisation potential.
Early diagnosis and treatment of infections in patients with haematologic malignancies: Examining novel diagnostics including bacterial and fungal multiplex PCR and FDG-PET imaging (The PIPPIN study)
This project aims to compare the utility of PET scan vs PCR in detecting the cause of febrile neutropenia in patients with haematological malignancies.
Dr. Abby Douglas
The cause of neutropenic fever in patients with acute leukaemia and having a bone marrow transplant are frequently unclear due to deficiencies in the current diagnostics used. This leads to prolonged use of empiric antibiotics and antifungals, diagnostic uncertainty, increased costs of care, prolonged length of stay and high morbidity. Compared to the current diagnostic standards of microbiologic culture and CT scanning, we aim to prospectively examine the efficacy of bacterial and fungal multiplex PCRs on blood and PET imaging to detect the cause of the neutropenic fever and assess their impact on time to diagnosis, antimicrobial use, referral for definitive procedures, ICU admission, costs of care and mortality. We expect to find improvements in time to diagnosis and refinement in antimicrobial use, with resultant reduced length of stay and ICU admission.