Pneumonia in the Cancer Patient

  • Ala Eddin S. Sagar
  • Scott E. EvansEmail author
Reference work entry


Pneumonia is a ubiquitous killer in all patient populations but presents a particular risk for morbidity and mortality among immunosuppressed cancer patients. The enhanced susceptibility of cancer patients to pneumonia arises from the aggregate effects of disease- and treatment-related immune dysfunction, disease- and treatment-related anatomic derangements, and healthcare-associated pathogen exposures, with the exact nature of an individual patient’s susceptibility being highly unique. Further, while prompt initiation of adequate antimicrobial therapy is essential to improved pneumonia outcomes, the initial diagnosis of pneumonia is often challenging in this population, as cancer patients with pneumonia frequently present with attenuated clinical signs and symptoms and very often have competing diagnoses that might explain new radiographic infiltrates, fever, or respiratory symptoms. This chapter addresses the mechanisms underlying pneumonia susceptibility in cancer patients, discusses the pathogens most often encountered, and provides an overview of pneumonia preventative, diagnostic, and therapeutic strategies in this vulnerable patient group.


Pneumonia Immunocompromised host Host-pathogen interactions Neutropenia Antibiotic resistance Bronchoscopy Hematologic malignancy Stem cell transplantation Orogastric aspiration CT chest Bacteria Viruses Fungi 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Division of Internal MedicineThe University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer CenterHoustonUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Yenny Cardenas
    • 1
  1. 1.Critical Care DepartmentUniversidad del Rosario Hospital Universitario Fundacion Santa Fe deBogotaColombia

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