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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 161

Toxicities of taxanes

Department of Clinical Oncology and Radiation Therapy, Charles University Hospital and Faculty of Medicine, Hradec Králové, Czech Republic

Date of Web Publication10-Apr-2013

Correspondence Address:
Slovácek Ladislav
Clinical Oncology and Radiation Therapy Department, Charles University Hospital and Faculty of Medicine Hradec Králové, Sokolská, Hradec Králové, Czech Republic

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0973-1482.110352

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How to cite this article:
Ladislav S. Toxicities of taxanes. J Can Res Ther 2013;9:161

How to cite this URL:
Ladislav S. Toxicities of taxanes. J Can Res Ther [serial online] 2013 [cited 2021 Jul 30];9:161. Available from: https://www.cancerjournal.net/text.asp?2013/9/1/161/110352


I read with great interest the article by Kim et al. [1] devoted to the issue toxicity of taxanes in women treated for localized breast cancer. The article mentioned the most common toxicities for both types of taxanes (paclitaxel and docetaxel). I would like to add that paclitaxel alone does not cause hypersensitivity reaction, but it is probably due to mixture of ethanol with derivatized castor oil, cremofor EL, [2] which provides the solubility of paclitaxel and his intravenous administration.For these reasons, it is necessary to use hypersensitivity reactions blocking drugs (anti-histamines, corticosteroids) simultaneously when taxanes are administered. Prolonged infusion and concomitant administration of corticosteroids and H2-blockers reduce the incidence of these side effects <10%. [2] I would like the authors added about a serious manifestation of toxicity of paclitaxel, which is a potential risk of extravasation with the development of chemical necrosis.The authors in the article mention peripheral neuropathy as a serious manifestation of taxanes's toxicity and its treatment (amitriptyline, glutamine, low doses of prednisone and gabapentin). I would like to mention our experience in treatment of paclitaxel-induced peripheral neuropathy with using a combination of neurotropic vitamins B with gabapentin with intensive rehabilitation. I would like author added that taxanes, especially paclitaxel, may also affect the central nervous system. [3],[4] Clinical cases describe the development of acute drug encephalopathy (transient encephalopathy) in the period 1-3 weeks after its application. [4] Manifestation of encephalopathy is characterized by changes in behavior, headache, and ataxia. Psychotropic problems resolved spontaneously within 1 week after paclitaxel application [4] .Paclitaxel alone may not be responsible for the development of acute encephalopathy, but it may be cremofor EL, which provides the solubility of paclitaxel and his intravenous administration. [2] We have personal experience of paclitaxel-induced encephalopathy's symptomsin 3 patients in the last year. In case of docetaxel are not described symptoms of acute drug encephalopathy.

 > References Top

1.Kim WY, Woo SU, Seo JH, Son GS, Lee JB, Bae JW. Toxicities, dose reduction and delay of docetaxel and paclitaxel chemotherapy in breast cancer without distant metastases. J Cancer Res Ther 2011;7:412-5.  Back to cited text no. 1
2.Webster LK, Crinis NA, Morton CG, Millward MJ. Plasma alcohol concentrations in patients following paclitaxel infusion. Cancer Chemother Pharmocol 1996;37:499-501.  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Zapletalová O. Neurological complications of oncological therapy.Neurol Pro Praxi 2003;5:249-52.  Back to cited text no. 3
4.Ziske CG, Schottker B, Gorschluter M, Mey U, Kleinschimidt R, Schlegel U. Acute transient encephalopathy after paclitaxel infusion: report of three cases. Ann Oncol 2002;13:629-31.  Back to cited text no. 4

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