Safety of cisplatin after severe hypersensitivity reactions to carboplatin in patients with recurrent ovarian carcinoma

Anticancer Res. 2003 Jul-Aug;23(4):3465-8.


Background: Carboplatin is a milestone drug against ovarian carcinoma; it is used both in front-line and second-line chemotherapy. Hypersensitivity reactions to carboplatin may occur during the treatment as salvage therapy. The purpose of this study was to describe the feasibility of the replacing of carboplatin with cisplatin in patients presenting with severe hypersensitivity reactions to carboplatin.

Patients and methods: Ten consecutive patients with platinum-sensitive, recurrent ovarian carcinoma, presenting with moderate/severe hypersensitivity reactions to carboplatin were treated with cisplatin 60 mg/m2 from January 2000 to December 2002. Hypersensitivity reactions consisted of respiratory distress (chest tightness, wheezing, dyspnea), urticaria/erythema with tachycardia, facial swelling and hypotension.

Results: The total number of cisplatin cycles given was 44 (range 2-5). The treatment with cisplatin was generally well tolerated. No serious allergic reactions occurred. A mild allergic reaction was recorded (urticaria) in only one case, after one cycle of cisplatin, and the patient was not rechallenged because of progressive disease. No reductions of chemotherapy doses were needed.

Conclusion: To date, platinum-based regimens remain the most effective treatment in recurrent platinum-sensitive ovarian cancer with a high rate of objective responses. Although our experience is limited, we suggest that, under anesthesiologic surveillance and providing immunologic blockade, the replacement of carboplatin salvage therapy with cisplatin can be considered a safe therapeutic strategy in patients who cannot continue carboplatin due to allergic reactions.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Carboplatin / adverse effects*
  • Carboplatin / therapeutic use
  • Cisplatin / adverse effects
  • Cisplatin / therapeutic use*
  • Drug Hypersensitivity / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / immunology
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / immunology
  • Salvage Therapy


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Carboplatin
  • Cisplatin