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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 27

of 'Infusion reactions to systemic chemotherapy'

Hypersensitivity reactions to carboplatin administration are common but not always severe: a 10-year experience.
Polyzos A, Tsavaris N, Kosmas C, Arnaouti T, Kalahanis N, Tsigris C, Giannopoulos A, Karatzas G, Giannikos L, Sfikakis PP
Oncology. 2001;61(2):129.
We have retrospectively evaluated and characterized the hypersensitivity reactions associated with carboplatin administration in ovarian cancer patients treated mainly on an outpatient basis at the Laikon Hospital from 1988 to 1998. A total of 240 patients, who had never been exposed to platinum compounds previously, received carboplatin plus cyclophosphamide (n = 58) or paclitaxel (n = 136) intravenously, and intraperitoneal carboplatin plus intravenous cyclophosphamide (n = 46). The median number of carboplatin courses was 6 (range 3-12) and 5 (range 4-6) for the intravenous and intraperitoneal treatment regimens, respectively. Thirty-two of 194 patients (16%) who were on intravenous carboplatin treatment developed symptoms compatible with a hypersensitivity reaction to carboplatin, that was always verified by manifestation of at least similar symptoms on rechallenging. In contrast, in the group of 46 patients on intraperitoneal carboplatin treatment, no hypersensitivity reaction was ever noticed. Hypersensitivity reactions always occurred after administration of the first 4 intravenous courses of carboplatin; 4, 19, 4, and 5 reactions occurred at the 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th courses, respectively. These reactions could be distinguished in: (a) mild hypersensitivity reactions in 20 of 194 patients, which manifested as itching (20 patients) and small area erythema plus erythema of the palms and soles (12 patients), occurring either during intravenous injection when most of the drug scheduled had been administered, or within 3 days, and (b) in severe reactions in 12 of 194 patients, which manifested acutely as itching, diffuse erythroderma, rigor, facial swelling, throat and chest tightness, tachycardia (12 patients) and bronchospasm (2 patients), and hypertension or hypotension in 8 and 4 patients, respectively. With appropriate symptomatic management, discontinuation of carboplatin treatment was not required in patients with mild hypersensitivity reactions, but none of the 12 patients with severe reactions was able to receive a full subsequent dose of carboplatin on rechallenging. However, in 4 of these 12 patients carboplatin was replaced by cisplatin, which was given for 4-6 courses without side effects. These findings indicate that although hypersensitivity reactions are common in general, occurring in almost 1 of every 6 patients treated intravenously with carboplatin, their clinical picture is variable, leading to discontinuation of treatment in only 6% of patients. This is not the case when the intraperitoneal route of carboplatin administration is used when indicated.
First Department of Propedeutic Medicine, Athens University Medical School, Laikon Hospital, Athens, Greece.