Reactions to cytostatic agents in children

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Abstract

Purpose of review

The current review will focus on drug hypersensitivity reactions to chemotherapy specifically to those drugs most used in children. We know that potentially all chemotherapeutic agents can cause infusion reactions, generally defined as adverse drug reactions. Of these, some are Type A, defined as expected and described in the characteristics of the drug and others, and Type B, defined as unexpected reactions which cannot be explained by the known toxicity profile of the drug. When an unexpected reaction occurs, drugs we can refer as hypersensitivity reactions (HSRs). Some of these (HSRs) are allergic reactions as they have an underlying immunologic mechanism. In general, the cytotoxic agents most commonly associated with HSRs are the platinum salts derivatives, taxanes, pegylated liposomal doxorubicin, L-asparaginase, procarbazine, etoposide, bleomycin, and cytarabin.

Recent findings

HSRs may also occur in children with cancer, during the treatment with chemotherapeutic drugs. The most used drugs of this group in children to cause HSRs are: carboplatin, L-asparaginase, and methothrexate. The aim of this review is to summarize the incidence and the clinical features of HSRs occurring with these drugs in children.

Summary

The aim of this review is to summarize the incidence and the clinical features of HSRs occurring with these drugs in children. The current review will focus on the most involved drugs in children, the type of reactions, the mechanisms involved, and the best way to manage them.

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