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Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2015 Nov;115(5):422-8. doi: 10.1016/j.anai.2015.07.017. Epub 2015 Aug 19.

Risk-stratification protocol for carboplatin and oxaliplatin hypersensitivity: repeat skin testing to identify drug allergy.

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Division of Rheumatology, Immunology and Allergy, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts. Electronic address:
Division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.



Hypersensitivity reactions (HSRs) to platinum-based chemotherapies are increasingly being recognized. The authors developed a novel risk-stratification protocol that was used successfully in a small number of patients with carboplatin-induced HSRs.


To describe the utility of this protocol in a large number of patients with carboplatin- or oxaliplatin-induced HSRs.


A 5-year retrospective review of patients referred to Massachusetts General Hospital with carboplatin- or oxaliplatin-induced HSR was performed. Patients were managed using a risk-stratification protocol using 3 repeat skin tests (STs) with intervening desensitizations. If the repeat ST result remained negative 3 times, patients received subsequent infusions without desensitization.


From 2008 to 2012, 142 patients (92 treated with carboplatin, 50 treated with oxaliplatin) completed 574 desensitizations. Most patients were women (84.5%, mean ± SD 58.1 ± 9.3 years). Patients with carboplatin-induced HSRs were classified as having positive (n = 32, 34.8%), negative (n = 38, 41.3%), or converted (n = 22, 23.9%) ST reactions when the initial negative ST reaction converted to positive at repeat ST. Of those with oxaliplatin-induced HSRs, 22 (44%) had positive, 25 (50%) had negative, and 3 (6%) had converted ST reactions. Of the patients with negative ST reactions, 17 with carboplatin-induced HSRs and 16 with oxaliplatin-induced HSRs safely completed 59 and 95 outpatient infusions, respectively, without desensitizations. For carboplatin and oxaliplatin, ST conversion was associated with an interval of at least 6 months from the HSR to the initial ST (carboplatin, P = .002; oxaliplatin, P = .045).


This risk-stratification protocol for presumed carboplatin- and oxaliplatin-induced HSRs safely identifies false-negative ST reactions and nonallergic patients who can receive infusions without desensitizations. This leads to fewer unnecessary desensitizations and improved patient care.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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