Aruna Gowda, MD

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Hypersensitivity Reactions to Oxaliplatin: Incidence and Management

November 1st 2004

Oxaliplatin (Eloxatin) is a novel platinum compound that has activityin a wide variety of tumors. Several hypersensitivity reactions distinctfrom laryngopharyngeal dysesthesia have been described. We retrospectivelyanalyzed 169 consecutive patients who received oxaliplatinfor esophageal or colorectal cancer between 1/1/00 and 7/31/02 andreviewed any significant adverse reactions labeled as hypersensitivityreactions. Thirty-two patients (19%) reportedly experienced hypersensitivity.Skin rash was the most common event (22 patients), occurringafter a median of three infusions. Fever was seen in five patients aftera median of two infusions. Five patients experienced respiratory symptomsat median infusion number 6. Ocular symptoms of lacrimationand blurring of vision were seen in two patients. Five patients experiencedmore than one type of reaction. Treatments prescribed forhypersensitivity were antihistamines, steroids, and topical emollients.One patient developed grade 4 hypersensitivity during cycle 6, characterizedby laryngeal edema, tongue swelling, and labored breathing.This patient underwent a desensitization procedure, adapted from guidelinesfor carboplatin (Paraplatin) allergy. Subsequently, three cycleswere administered over 6 hours and were well tolerated. However,during the fourth infusion postdesensitization, the patient developedrecurrent signs of hypersensitivity. In conclusion, hypersensitivity isfrequently seen with oxaliplatin, but most reactions are mild.