Stopping paclitaxel premedication after two doses in patients not experiencing a previous infusion hypersensitivity reaction.
Berger MJ, Vargo C, Vincent M, Shaver K, Phillips G, Layman R, Macrae E, Mrozek E, Ramaswamy B, Wesolowski R, Shapiro CL, Lustberg MB
Support Care Cancer 23 2019-24 07/01/2015
PURPOSE: Paclitaxel-based chemotherapy continues to be an integral component of breast cancer treatment. Prolonged use of paclitaxel may result in repeated doses of premedications that can have unwanted side effects. Infusion hypersensitivity reactions occurring beyond the second dose of paclitaxel are infrequent and not well characterized. We previously published the results of a small, prospective pilot trial demonstrating the safety and feasibility of discontinuing premedications in patients who received the first two doses of paclitaxel-based chemotherapy without experiencing an infusion hypersensitivity reaction. In this study, we aimed to retrospectively characterize the incidence of rescue medication using this abbreviated premedication regimen in our institution following the publication of the pilot study.
METHODS: Patients with stages I-IV breast cancer who received paclitaxel from January 2011 through June 2013 were screened for eligibility. Patients who did not experience an infusion hypersensitivity reaction with their first or second dose of paclitaxel and discontinued paclitaxel premedication for subsequent doses were included in this analysis. The primary endpoint was to estimate the incidence of rescue medication use for the treatment of paclitaxel infusion hypersensitivity during doses three to six of paclitaxel in the study population.
RESULTS: In total, 449 patients received paclitaxel-based chemotherapy for the treatment of breast cancer during the interval time period. After receiving the first two doses of paclitaxel-based chemotherapy without experiencing an infusion hypersensitivity reaction, 234 breast cancer patients had their premedications discontinued for all remaining paclitaxel doses. These patients tolerated future paclitaxel doses without severe or life-threatening complications related to infusion hypersensitivity. The majority of patients did not have any symptoms of an infusion reaction, with only two of these patients requiring rescue medication to treat an infusion hypersensitivity reaction with subsequent paclitaxel doses (0.85; 95 % confidence interval (CI), 0.10-3.05 %).
CONCLUSIONS: Discontinuation of paclitaxel premedications in breast cancer patients who have not experienced an infusion hypersensitivity reaction with the first two doses of paclitaxel is not associated with increased rate of rescue medication use for infusion hypersensitivity.