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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 5

of 'Bleomycin-induced lung injury'

Predicting the risk of bleomycin lung toxicity in patients with germ-cell tumours.
O'Sullivan JM, Huddart RA, Norman AR, Nicholls J, Dearnaley DP, Horwich A
Ann Oncol. 2003;14(1):91.
BACKGROUND: Bleomycin pulmonary toxicity (BPT) has been known since the early clinical trials of bleomycin in the 1960s. Postulated risk factors include cumulative bleomycin dose, reduced glomerular filtration rate (GFR), raised creatinine, older age and supplemental oxygen exposure.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: From our prospectively collected testicular cancer research database, we reviewed 835 patients treated at the Royal Marsden NHS Trust (Sutton, UK) with bleomycin-containing regimens for germ-cell tumours between January 1982 and December 1999, to identify those with BPT.
RESULTS: Fifty-seven (6.8%) patients had BPT, ranging from X-ray/CT (computed tomography) changes to dyspnoea. There were eight deaths (1% of patients treated) directly attributed to BPT. The median time from the start of bleomycin administration to documented lung toxicity was 4.2 months (range 1.2-8.2). On multivariate analysis, the factors independently predicting for increased risk of BPT were GFR<80 ml/min [hazard ratio (HR) 3.3], age>40 years (HR 2.3), stage IV disease at presentation (HR 2.6) and cumulative dose of bleomycin>300,000 IU (HR 3.5).
CONCLUSIONS: Patients with poor renal function are at high risk of BPT, especially if they are aged>40 years, have stage IV disease at presentation or receive>300,000 IU of bleomycin. In such cases alternative drug regimens or dose restriction should be considered.
Academic Unit of Radiotherapy and Clinical Oncology, The Institute of Cancer Research, Royal Marsden NHS Trust, Sutton, UK. drjoeosullivan@ireland.com