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Anticancer Drugs. 2001 Apr;12(4):345-9.

Tolerability of the cytoprotective agent amifostine in elderly patients receiving chemotherapy: a comparative study.

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Internal Medicine II, Department Hematology/Oncology, Humboldt University, University Hospital Charité, 10117 Berlin, Germany.


In order to determine if age and comorbidity influence the tolerability of the cytoprotective agent amifostine, we compared side effects related to amifostine in patients > or = 70 years (group I) with patients < 70 years (group II). We evaluated 268 consecutive administrations of amifostine (119 in group I and 149 in group II, respectively), given i.v. at a dose of 740 mg/m(2) just before platinum-, taxol- or cyclophosphamide-based chemotherapy. Transient hypotension was the most common side effect occurring in association with amifostine. Decreases in systolic blood pressure > 20 mmHg were of similar frequency in both groups (27.1 versus 28.8% of amifostine infusions in group I and II, respectively). Hypotension did not result in medical sequelae in any of the patients. The amifostine infusion was interrupted 16 times in group I and 8 times in group II, respectively, mainly due to hypotension, but could be restarted after a few minutes in all patients except for three cases in group I. Patients in group II more often suffered from nausea/vomiting than in group II (20.8 versus 10.0% in group I). Other subjective symptoms (e.g. warmed, flushed sensation, sneezing, metallic taste, mouth dryness, dizziness and sleepiness) and hypocalcemia occurred with a similar frequency in both groups. Adverse effects associated with amifostine were not observed more frequently in elderly patients than in younger ones, although more elderly patients had a comorbidity than the younger ones.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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