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Met Based Drugs. 2010;2010. pii: 207084. doi: 10.1155/2010/207084. Epub 2010 Sep 20.

Hypersensitivity reactions associated with platinum antineoplastic agents: a systematic review.

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  • 1Oncology Unit, 3rd Department of Medicine, Sotiria General Hospital, Athens University School of Medicine, Mesogion 152, 115 27 Athens, Greece.


Platinum-containing chemotherapy agents (cisplatin, carboplatin, oxaliplatin) have been approved in the first-line setting of numerous malignancies, such as ovarian, bladder, head and neck, colorectal, and lung cancer. Their extensive use over the last decade has led to a significant increase in the incidence of hypersensitivity reactions, which are defined as unforeseen reactions whose signs and symptoms cannot be explained by the known toxicity of these drugs. Skin rash, flushing, abdominal cramping, itchy palms, and back pain are common symptoms. Cardiovascular and respiratory complications can prove fatal. Multiple pathogenetic mechanisms have been suggested. Hypersensitivity usually appears after multiple infusions, suggesting type I allergic reactions; however, other types of hypersensitivity also seem to be implicated. Several management options are available to treating physicians: discontinuation of chemotherapy, premedication, prolonging of infusion duration, desensitization protocols, and replacement with a different platinum compound after performing skin tests that rule out cross-reactions among platinum agents.

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