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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Biomarker Driven Antifungal Stewardship (BioDriveAFS) in acute leukaemia—a multi-centre randomised controlled trial to assess clinical and cost effectiveness: a study protocol for a randomised controlled trial
Author(s): Flett, Lydia
Abdelatif, Radwa
Akhtar Baz, Sarah
Brady, Samantha
Corbacho, Belen
Common, Kate
Cowling, Abbie
Fairhurst, Caroline
Fitzmaurice, Ellie
Ghandi, Shreyans
Hilton, Andrea
Hope, William
Howard, Alex
Laycock, Joanne
Lillie, Patrick
Mitchell, Gemma
Parker, Adwoa
Peel, Mary
Sheard, Laura
Sneddon, Jacqueline
Taynton, Thomas
Tharmanathan, Puvan
Torgerson, David
Wang, Han-I
Allsup, David
Barlow, David
Contact Email:
Keywords: Acute leukaemia
Antifungal stewardship
Invasive fungal infection
Issue Date: 28-Jun-2024
Date Deposited: 1-Jul-2024
Abstract: Background Acute leukaemias (AL) are life-threatening blood cancers that can be potentially cured with treatment involving myelosuppressive, multiagent, intensive chemotherapy (IC). However, such treatment is associated with a risk of serious infection, in particular invasive fungal infection (IFI) associated with prolonged neutropenia. Current practice guidelines recommend primary antifungal (AF) prophylaxis to be administered to high-risk patients to reduce IFI incidence. AFs are also used empirically to manage prolonged neutropenic fever. Current strategies lead to substantial overuse of AFs. Galactomannan (GM) and β-D-glucan (BG) biomarkers are also used to diagnose IFI. Combining both biomarkers may enhance the predictability of IFI compared to administering each test alone. Currently, no large-scale randomised controlled trial (RCT) has directly compared a biomarker-based diagnostic screening strategy without AF prophylaxis to AF prophylaxis (without systematic biomarker testing). Methods BioDriveAFS is a multicentre, parallel, two-arm RCT of 404 participants from UK NHS Haematology departments. Participants will be allocated on a 1:1 basis to receive either a biomarker-based antifungal stewardship (AFS) strategy, or a prophylactic AF strategy, which includes existing standard of care (SoC). The co-primary outcomes will be AF exposure in the 12-month post randomisation and the patient-reported EQ-5D-5L measured at 12-month post randomisation. Secondary outcomes will include total AF exposure, probable/proven IFI, survival (all-cause mortality and IFI mortality), IFI treatment outcome, AF-associated adverse effects/events/complications, resource use, episodes of neutropenic fever requiring hospital admission or outpatient management, AF resistance in fungi (non-invasive and invasive) and a Desirability of Outcome Ranking. The trial will have an internal pilot phase during the first 9 months. A mixed methods process evaluation will be integrated in parallel to the internal pilot phase and full trial, aiming to robustly assess how the intervention is delivered. Cost-effectiveness analysis will also be performed. Discussion The BioDriveAFS trial aims to further the knowledge of strategies that will safely optimise AF use through comparison of the clinical and cost-effectiveness of a biomarker-led diagnostic strategy versus prophylactic AF to prevent and manage IFI within acute leukaemia. The evidence generated from the study will help inform global clinical practice and approaches within antifungal stewardship.
DOI Link: 10.1186/s13063-024-08272-w
Rights: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.
Notes: Flett et al. Trials (2024) 25:427
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