Effective desensitization protocol to paclitaxel following hypersensitivity reaction

A. Fishman, T. Gold, A. Goldberg, R. Confino-Cohen, Y. Beyth, J. Menczer, M. Altaras

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The objective of this paper is to describe our experience with a desensitization protocol to paclitaxel using the original paclitaxel solution in patients following severe hypersensitivity reactions. A retrospective review of 75 consecutive patients with ovarian cancer who received intravenous paclitaxel-based chemotherapy between January 1996 and May 1998 at the Gynecologic Oncology Unit at Meir Hospital-Sapir Medical Center, Kfar- Saba, Israel. All patients who developed a hypersensitivity reaction to paclitaxel were treated with a desensitization protocol. The protocol included serial 10-fold dilutions (up to 1:100,000) of the actual paclitaxel infusate, delivered in successive volumes of 1, 2, 4, and 8 ml. These escalating doses of paclitaxel were given intravenously at 15-min intervals for each dilution. Following administration of the last diluted dose, the patient received a 1-ml dose of the undiluted solution. If no side effects were recorded, the rest of the actual dose was delivered at a 3-h infusion rate. Vital signs were monitored and recorded throughout the course of treatment. Six patients with a previous paclitaxel-associated hypersensitivity reaction were successfully treated with the desensitization protocol. In conclusion, we demonstrate that the desensitization protocol is feasible and safe without compromising cytotoxic activity. Our results show that this strategy is a reasonable choice in this clinical setting and potentially avoids paclitaxel-based regimen interruption.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)156-159
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Gynecological Cancer
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Desensitization
  • Paclitaxel hypersensitivity


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