BACKGROUND. Initial therapy in patients with neutropenia and presumptive infection is empiric and based on the pathogens most likely to be responsible, and drug resistance. In Norway the combination of benzylpenicilline + aminoglycoside has been the traditional empirical treatment for several decades.PURPOSE. The study was initiated in order to evaluate the efficacy and safety of treatment of infections in febrile neutropenic cancer patients on a hematology-oncology ward, and to analyse the microbiological spectrum and susceptibility patterns of pathogens causing bacteremia in these patients.METHODS. Single center retrospective survey. Adult cancer patients treated for neutropenic infection in the period 01.09.05-01.09.06 were included in the study. RESULTS. The medical records of 59 patients were reviewed and 81 episodes of neutropenic infection were noted. 30% of these episodes were treated with benzylpenicilline + aminoglycoside as first line treatment, 47% with a third generation cephalosporin, 23% received other antibiotics. The overall response rate was 80%, 57% responded to first line treatment. The overall mortality rate was 8,5% and infection related mortality 6,8%. Bacteremia was documented in 22% of the episodes. Relative frequencies of G-, G+ and polymicrobial bacteremias were 72%, 11% and 17%. Overall, 19 of 21 bacterial isolates were susceptible to penicillin or gentamycin, one isolate was resistant to this combination and one not tested.CONCLUSION. Both treatment results and susceptibylity patterns of the isolated bacteria in our study is comparable to those published in several other norwegian studies, which supports further use of benzylpenicilline + gentamycin as initial empirical treatment in patients with neutropenic infection. Based upon the results in this study, we conclude that the treatment of infection in febrile neutropenic cancer patients on this hemato-oncology ward is efficient and safe.