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Cancer. 1995 Sep 15;76(6):1069-72.

Radiation recall dermatitis and pneumonitis in a patient treated with paclitaxel.

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Department of Radiation Oncology, UCLA Medical Center 90024, USA.



Radiation recall refers to a tissue reaction produced by a chemotherapeutic agent in a previously irradiated field that would not occur in a nonirradiated field. A number of agents have been reported to cause radiation recall. Recently, there have been case reports of recall dermatitis from paclitaxel treatment.


A patient with metastatic lung cancer received palliative radiation to her mediastinum and ribs. Because of disease progression, she subsequently received paclitaxel.


After paclitaxel administration, the patient became acutely dyspneic. A subsequent chest X-ray revealed a parenchymal opacity in a region that corresponded with the patient's radiation portal. She also developed a severe skin reaction in the previously treated electron field.


This is one of few reported cases of recall dermatitis from paclitaxel and is also suggestive of recall pneumonitis, a phenomenon previously unreported to the authors' knowledge. Given paclitaxel's ability to function as a radiosensitizer, this response is not unexpected. As the frequency of paclitaxel administration increases, its potential as a radiation sensitizer and radiation recall should be considered.

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