Parainfluenza viral infections are increasingly recognized as common causes of morbidity and mortality in cancer patients, particularly in hematopoietic cell transplant (HCT) recipients and hematologic malignancy (HM) patients because of their immunocompromised status and susceptibility to lower respiratory tract infections. Advances in diagnostic methods, including polymerase chain reaction, have led to increased identification and awareness of these infections. Lack of consensus on clinically significant endpoints and the small number of patients affected in each cancer institution every year make it difficult to assess the efficacy of new or available antiviral drugs. In this systematic review, we summarized data from all published studies on parainfluenza virus infections in HM patients and HCT recipients, focusing on incidence, risk factors, long-term outcomes, mortality, prevention, and management with available or new investigational agents. Vaccines against these viruses are lacking; thus, infection control measures remain the mainstay for preventing nosocomial spread. A multi-institutional collaborative effort is recommended to standardize and validate clinical endpoints for PIV infections, which will be essential for determining efficacy of future vaccine and antiviral therapies.
Keywords: Antiviral therapy; Cancer; Leukemia; PIV; Pneumonia; Stem cell transplant.
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