Docetaxel secretion in tears: association with lacrimal drainage obstruction

Arch Ophthalmol. 2002 Sep;120(9):1180-2.


Objective: To test the hypothesis that docetaxel may be secreted in tears after intravenous infusion.

Design: Prospective pilot trial.

Patients and methods: Tear fluid was collected from 4 patients receiving docetaxel weekly and 2 patients receiving docetaxel every 3 weeks as a single agent for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer. Tear samples were collected once prior to and again within 30 minutes following the end of the 1-hour docetaxel infusion. A blood sample was also obtained after infusion. The tear and plasma samples were analyzed for drug content using high-performance liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry.

Results: Docetaxel was found in the tear samples collected from all 6 patients.

Conclusion: The secretion of docetaxel in tears may be a mechanism for canalicular inflammation and tear drainage obstruction, which are known to occur as an adverse effect of the drug.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / pharmacokinetics*
  • Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Docetaxel
  • Female
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Lacrimal Duct Obstruction / chemically induced*
  • Middle Aged
  • Paclitaxel / adverse effects
  • Paclitaxel / analogs & derivatives*
  • Paclitaxel / pharmacokinetics*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Prospective Studies
  • Taxoids*
  • Tears / metabolism*


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Taxoids
  • Docetaxel
  • Paclitaxel