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Clin Transl Oncol. 2013 Mar;15(3):219-25. doi: 10.1007/s12094-012-0909-9. Epub 2012 Jul 25.

Effectiveness of oxaliplatin desensitization protocols.

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Department of Pharmacy, Hospital Universitario 12 de Octubre, Avda Cordoba s/n, 28041, Madrid, Spain.



Hypersensitivity reaction (HSR) to antineoplastic drugs can force doctors to stop treatment and seek other alternatives. These alternatives may be less effective, not as well tolerated and/or more expensive. Another option is to use desensitization protocols that induce a temporary state of tolerance by gradually administering small quantities of the antineoplastic drug until the therapeutic dosage is reached. The aim of this study is to assess the effectiveness of oxaliplatin desensitization protocols.


A retrospective observational study was carried out between January 2006 and May 2011. The inclusion criteria were patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment with oxaliplatin who had developed an HSR to the drug and who were candidates for continuing the treatment using a desensitization protocol. The patients' clinical records were reviewed and variables were gathered relating to the patient, the treatment, the HSR, and the desensitization protocol administered. The data were analysed using version 18.0 of the statistics program SPSS.


A total of 53 desensitization protocols were administered to 21 patients. In 89 % of these cases, no new reactions occurred while the drug was being administered. New reactions of mild severity only occurred in 11 % of cases, and none of these reactions were severe enough for treatment to be stopped. All patients were able to complete the desensitization protocol.


This study confirms that oxaliplatin desensitization protocols are safe and effective and allow patients to continue with the treatment that initially caused an HSR.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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