Immunosuppression associated with novel chemotherapy agents and monoclonal antibodies

Vicki A. Morrison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


The introduction of novel agents to the therapeutic armamentarium for oncologic, rheumatologic, and neurologic disorders has resulted in major clinical advances. These agents impact immune function, resulting in a discrete spectrum of infectious complications. Purine analogues and alemtuzumab alter cell-mediated immunity, resulting in opportunistic viral/fungal infections. Herpes zoster incidence increases with bortezomib. Hepatitis B reactivation may occur with rituximab. Cases of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy have occurred following monoclonal antibody therapy. Tumor necrosis factor-α inhibitor therapy is complicated by tuberculosis reactivation and fungal infections. We summarize the impact of these therapies on pathogenesis and spectrum of infection complicating their usage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S360-S364
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Supplement sponsorship. This article appeared as part of the supplement “The Third Infections in Cancer Symposium,” sponsored by the National Institute of Health, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.


  • Alemtuzumab
  • Bortezomib
  • Fludarabine
  • Hepatitis B
  • Tumor necrosis factor-α inhibitors


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