Journal of Cancer Research and Therapeutics

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

Toxicities of taxanes

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

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

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

How to cite this URL:
Ladislav S. Toxicities of taxanes. J Can Res Ther [serial online] 2013 [cited 2021 Sep 22 ];9:161-161
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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.


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4Ziske 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.