Coccidioidomycosis in Patients with Selected Solid Organ Cancers: A Case Series and Review of Medical Literature

Colin Fitterer, Zachary Berg, Thorvardur R. Halfdanarson, Holenarasipur R. Vikram, Shimon Kusne, Robert Orenstein, Maria Teresa Seville, Janis E. Blair

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Coccidioidomycosis is a common infection in the desert southwestern USA; approximately 3 % of healthy persons in Arizona alone become infected annually. Coccidioidomycosis may be severe in immunocompromised persons, but experience among patients with solid organ cancer has not been fully described. Therefore, we aimed to describe the clinical courses of patients whose cancers were complicated by coccidioidomycosis at our institution, which is located in an area with endemic Coccidioides. To do so, we conducted a retrospective review from January 1, 2000, through December 31, 2014, of all patients with breast, colorectal, or ovarian cancer whose cancer courses were complicated by coccidioidomycosis. We identified 17,576 cancer patients; 14 (0.08 %) of these patients met criteria for proven or probable coccidioidomycosis diagnosed within the first 2 years after the cancer diagnosis. All of these patients had primary pulmonary coccidioidomycosis, none had relapsed prior infection, and 1 had possible extrapulmonary dissemination. Five had active coccidioidal infection during chemotherapy, 1 of whom was hospitalized for coccidioidal pneumonia. All were treated with fluconazole, and all improved clinically. Eleven did not require prolonged courses of fluconazole. There were no clearly demonstrated episodes of relapsed infection. In conclusion, coccidioidomycosis was not a common complication of breast, colorectal, or ovarian cancers in patients treated at our institution, and it was not commonly complicated by severe or disseminated infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)787-798
Number of pages12
Issue number11-12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016


  • Breast cancer
  • Coccidioides
  • Coccidioidomycosis
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Tumor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • veterinary (miscalleneous)
  • Microbiology


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