New horizons for cancer patients with an allergy to chemotherapy
Published online: October 4, 2018
Hypersensitivity reactions (HSRs) to chemotherapeutic agents have been increasing in recent years and represent a crucial obstacle to the standard treatment of cancer patients, because they prevent the administration of the most efficacious drugs against neoplasms. In this scenario, taxanes, utilized in clinical practice for the treatment of a number of cancers, are a class of chemotherapeutic drugs particularly responsible for this type of adverse effect, which is even lethal in some cases.
In an article recently published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice, Pagani and colleagues report in this multicenter study that patients with HSRs to the most utilised taxanes, paclitaxel and docetaxel, underwent skin tests with the culprit drug. This test is very feasible and safe, and is commonly performed for the diagnosis of allergy to food, pollen, plants etc.
In the patients analyzed, the authors observed a 17% rate of positive tests, especially in cases of severe allergic reactions with involvement of the skin. These patients then received the drug via a different modality and could complete the planned schedule of chemotherapy without problems. This fact significantly impacted the overall survival and quality of life of these patients.
This multicenter study has demonstrated that skin tests can be helpful for the diagnosis of allergic reactions to taxanes and represents a further weapon for the best and tailored treatment of patients with different types of cancer.
The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice is an official journal of the AAAAI, focusing on practical information for the practicing clinician.
18-00277, Role of skin tests in the diagnosis of immediate hypersensitivity reactions to taxanes: results of a multicenter study