Pulmonary toxicities of biologics: a review

Anticancer Drugs. 2010 Feb;21(2):131-9. doi: 10.1097/CAD.0b013e328333d662.


With the advancement of research in cancer treatment more and more drugs are being introduced for the treatment of cancer. In this review study, we have tried to look at some of the relatively newly introduced drugs, commonly referred to as biologics. The aim of this study was to review the very rare but fatal pulmonary toxicities (mostly interstitial lung disease) caused by these drugs. The drugs that were reviewed are rituximab, cetuximab, bevacizumab, alemtuzumab, and trastuzumab. This review basically aims at presenting a basic introduction (mechanism of action and indications of use) of these drugs followed by a summary of the incidence, various clinical presentations, diagnosis, treatment options, and outcome of patients around the world who presented with pulmonary toxicities caused by these drugs.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Lung / drug effects*
  • Lung Diseases, Interstitial / chemically induced*
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy


  • Antineoplastic Agents