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A recent meta-analysis suggests that the addition of oxaliplatin or cisplatin to gemcitabine can lead to improved survival in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer, especially those with a good performance status. In an event of a platinum hypersensitivity reaction, the particular platinum salt is likely discontinued. Desensitization has shown benefit anecdotically but it is an intensive process. We present a case in which platinum-containing therapy was able to continue in a patient with metastatic pancreatic cancer following a hypersensitivity reaction to oxaliplatin, by switching to cisplatin after a negative intradermal skin test. A 58-year-old gentleman with metastatic pancreatic adenocarcinoma received biweekly cycles of gemcitabine in combination with oxaliplatin. During the fifth cycle, he experienced a grade 2 hypersensitivity reaction including erythema and lip numbness, for which he was medicated with antihistaminics and corticosteroids. Cycles 6 and 7 of oxaliplatin were tolerated over 4 h infusion with pretreatment of H1, H2 blockers and corticosteroids. During the 8th cycle, the patient developed a grade 3 hypersensitivity reaction manifesting as facial flushing, sweating, symptomatic bronchospasm, cyanotic lips and chest tightness. Symptoms resolved with antihistaminics, corticosteroids and epinephrine. Although oxaliplatin treatment was discontinued, the patient's response to the platinum therapy merited a cisplatin rechallenge. An intradermal skin test was administered with negative result, allowing for a regimen change to biweekly gemcitabine and cisplatin. The patient has tolerated multiple additional cycles with further decrease in tumor size and tumor markers. Intradermal skin tests can be useful tools for effectual rechallenge. Literature review reveals scarce data of intradermal skin tests used to rechallenge cisplatin to patients with oxaliplatin hypersensitivity reaction, and our case is the first apparent example for a patient with advanced pancreatic cancer. Despite the possibility of platinum cross-reactivity, rechallenge can be considered if patients have responded to the therapy and are treated in a supervised environment.


Kyle T Elligers, Marianne Davies, Desiree Sanchis, Thomas Ferencz, Muhammad Wasif Saif. Rechallenge with cisplatin in a patient with pancreatic cancer who developed a hypersensitivity reaction to oxaliplatin. Is skin test useful in this setting? JOP : Journal of the pancreas. 2008;9(2):197-202

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PMID: 18326929

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