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Rates of paclitaxel hypersensitivity reactions using a modified Markman's infusion protocol as primary prophylaxis.

PURPOSE: Markman's desensitisation protocol allows successful retreatment of patients who have had significant paclitaxel hypersensitivity reactions. We aimed to reduce the risk and severity of paclitaxel hypersensitivity reactions by introducing this protocol as primary prophylaxis.

METHODS: We evaluated all patients with a gynaecological malignancy receiving paclitaxel before (December 2018 to September 2019) and after (October 2019 to July 2020) the implementation of a modified Markman's desensitisation protocol. The pre-implementation group received paclitaxel over a gradually up-titrated rate from 60 to 180 ml/h. The post-implementation group received paclitaxel via 3 fixed-dose infusion bags in the first 2 cycles. Rates and severity of paclitaxel hypersensitivity reactions were compared.

RESULTS: A total of 426 paclitaxel infusions were administered to 78 patients. The median age was 64 years (range 34-81), and the most common diagnosis was ovarian, fallopian tube and primary peritoneal cancer (67%, n = 52/78). Paclitaxel hypersensitivity reaction rates were similar in the pre-implementation (8%, n = 16/195) and post-implementation groups (9%, n = 20/231; p = 0.87). Most paclitaxel hypersensitivity reactions occurred within 30 min (pre- vs. post-implementation, 88% [n = 14/16] vs. 75% [n = 15/20]; p = 0.45) and were grade 2 in severity (pre- vs. post-implementation, 81% [n = 13/16] vs. 75% [n = 15/20]; p = 0.37). There was one grade 3 paclitaxel hypersensitivity reaction in the pre-implementation group. All patients were successfully rechallenged in the post-implementation group compared to 81% (n = 13/16) in the pre-implementation group (p = 0.43).

CONCLUSION: The modified Markman's desensitisation protocol as primary prophylaxis did not reduce the rate or severity of paclitaxel hypersensitivity reactions, although all patients could be successfully rechallenged.

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