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Editorials |

We Have Met the Enemy

Alex G. Little, MD, FCCP
Author and Funding Information

Affiliations: Dayton, OH
 ,  Dr. Little is affiliated with the Department of Surgery, Wright State University.

Correspondence to: Alex G. Little, MD, FCCP, Elizabeth Berry Gray Chair & Professor, Wright State University, Department of Surgery, 1 Wyoming St, Suite 7000 WCHE, Dayton, OH 45409; e-mail: alex.little@wright.edu



Chest. 2004;126(6):1725-1726. doi:10.1378/chest.126.6.1725
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Extract

The sophistication and capabilities of modern medicine are, of course, phenomenal. When one considers the spectrum of diseases that, within recent memory, were either incurable or not even treatable but now succumb to current therapeutic strategies, the mind reels. Unfortunately, however, many of these advances have come with a price related to the undesired but unavoidable side effects of newer, more efficacious drugs. For example, aggressive myeloablative chemotherapy for a range of hematologic diseases, with or without bone marrow or stem cell transplantation, has the dual capacity of being able both to potentially cure a range of hematologic diseases and simultaneously to render patients either temporarily or permanently immunocompromised, and therefore unable to respond to infectious challenges.

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