Transfer of carboplatin and paclitaxel into breast milk

J Hum Lact. 2012 Nov;28(4):457-9. doi: 10.1177/0890334412459374.


Carboplatin is an alkylating agent that is FDA approved for the treatment of advanced ovarian cancer. Paclitaxel is a plant taxane mitotic inhibitor approved for primary or salvage treatment of ovarian and breast cancer. This is a case report of a 40-year-old woman who was exclusively breastfeeding prior to being treated for papillary thyroid cancer with intravenous carboplatin (233 mg) and intravenous paclitaxel (30 mg/m(2)) for 6 consecutive weeks. Breast milk samples were collected during the sixth chemotherapy session. Carboplatin had a relative infant dose of 2.0% and remained measurable after 316 hours. Paclitaxel had a relative infant dose of 16.7% but was eliminated before 316 hours. The potential side effects of infant exposure of these medications include myelosuppression, hypersensitivity reactions, nephrotoxicity, and neurotoxicity. It would be inadvisable for a mother to breastfeed while undergoing therapy with these 2 medications.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacokinetics*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Carboplatin / pharmacokinetics*
  • Carboplatin / therapeutic use
  • Carcinoma / drug therapy
  • Carcinoma, Papillary
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lactation / metabolism*
  • Milk, Human / chemistry*
  • Paclitaxel / pharmacokinetics*
  • Paclitaxel / therapeutic use
  • Thyroid Cancer, Papillary
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / drug therapy


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Carboplatin
  • Paclitaxel