Background: The current study was conducted to report the severity and management of canalicular and nasolacrimal duct stenosis as a side effect of docetaxel therapy and to report the outcomes of surgical intervention for this condition.
Methods: The records of 148 patients with epiphora associated with docetaxel therapy who were evaluated at the Ophthalmology Service at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center were reviewed. The frequency of docetaxel administration, the dose intensity, the cumulative dose of docetaxel, and any concomitant chemotherapeutic agents were recorded. Each patient underwent an ophthalmologic examination and in-office probing and irrigation. The patients either were treated with topical steroids or offered a surgical procedure for canalicular stenosis- (silicone intubation, dacryocystorhinostomy [DCR] with the placement of silicone tubes, or DCR with the placement of Pyrex glass tubes), depending on the severity of the canalicular stenosis.
Results: Docetaxel was given weekly in 71 patients, every 2 weeks in 5 patients, and every 3 weeks in 72 patients. Thirty patients (59 eyes) who received weekly docetaxel underwent surgery to correct epiphora. Twenty-three patients (39 eyes) were treated with temporary silicone tube placement, 9 patients (13 eyes) were treated with DCR with temporary silicone tube placement, and 4 patients (7 eyes) were treated with DCR with permanent Pyrex glass tube placement. Twenty-nine of the 30 patients who underwent surgery reported improvement or total resolution of epiphora after the procedure. Ten additional patients (20 eyes) who received weekly docetaxel had complete closure of their canaliculi but elected not to undergo surgery. Of special note were two patients who received weekly docetaxel in the neoadjuvant setting and developed complete closure of the canaliculi. Of the patients who received docetaxel every 2 or 3 weeks, only 3 required a surgical intervention to correct epiphora; none required Pyrex glass tube placement.
Conclusions: Canalicular and nasolacrimal duct obstruction is a common side effect of weekly docetaxel therapy and can occur even when this drug is used in the neoadjuvant setting. The results of the current study indicate that early temporary silicone intubation in symptomatic patients receiving weekly docetaxel can prevent further closure of the lacrimal drainage apparatus and obviate more involved surgical interventions and permanent Pyrex glass tube placement. Cancer 2003;98:504-7.
Copyright 2003 American Cancer Society.DOI 10.1002/cncr.11527