Invasive fungal disease (IFD) in immunocompromised patients remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality and there is a pressing need for studies of novel antifungal agents and strategies to improve outcomes. Trial design details often determine not only the appropriate interpretation of the results, but also their translation into clinical practice. However, the conduct of IFD clinical trials remains challenging due to the rarity of IFD, heterogeneity of underlying diseases, and the lack of clear and standardized response criteria. Response assessments are influenced by host, underlying disease and treatment factors as well as eligibility criteria. In addition, the criteria used to assess response, when response is assessed and the type of antifungal therapy under study can impact response evaluations. This article will discuss recent trials of primary, salvage, empiric, and prophylactic antifungal therapy with specific attention to the design of these antifungal therapy trials and how their designs influence their interpretation. The potential role of surrogate markers, such as the galactomannan index, fungal deoxyribonucleic acid polymerase chain reaction assay, and (18F) fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography scans in establishing the early diagnosis of IFD, as well as enhancing the ability to assess outcomes to antifungal therapy, and thereby the optimal duration of antifungal therapy, will be discussed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Infectious Diseases