This research programme will seek to identify the most effective way to prevent and detect fungal infection in patients with acute leukaemia (acute myeloid leukaemia, acute lymphoblastic leukaemia and high-risk myelodysplastic syndromes), blood cancers often cured with chemotherapy. Blood tests (biomarkers) can be used to detect fungal infection before symptoms start and this programme of work will assess if monitoring the risk of fungal infection by regular blood tests is safe and reduces the need to use antifungal drugs.
The potential and hoped for outcomes / benefits are the introduction of changes to the current NHS patient pathway that will safely lead to earlier diagnosis, targeting effective treatment at those who really need it, a reduction in antifungal drug use, and a containment or reduction in fungi becoming resistant to therapy through overuse, an increasing problem globally. Based on the results, NHS hospitals will be encouraged to review the way they use antifungals in acute leukaemia. The results of our research will be peer reviewed and published and shared through educational outputs, social media communication and at open meetings.