Diagnostic tools for hypersensitivity to platinum drugs and taxanes: skin testing, specific IgE, and mast cell/basophil mediators

Joana Caiado, Matthieu Picard
Current Allergy and Asthma Reports 2014, 14 (8): 451
Hypersensitivity reactions (HSRs) to platinum drugs and taxanes are increasing in cancer patients, and rapid drug desensitization has emerged as a safe and effective method to reintroduce these drugs in reactive patients. Optimal management of patients presenting HSRs to chemotherapy depends on the use of various diagnostic tools, which include measurement of mast cell/basophil mediator release following a HSR and skin testing. Serum tryptase should be measured in patients presenting chemotherapy HSRs, and its elevation would support mast cell/basophil activation. Skin testing to platinum drugs has a high sensitivity and specificity and is critical to guide the management of platinum-reactive patients. Taxane skin testing is also emerging as a useful diagnostic and risk stratification tool in the evaluation of patients with HSRs to taxanes. Platinum sIgE assays have been recently developed and can be helpful in combination with skin testing or as an alternative when skin testing is not available.


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