Successful parenteral desensitization to paclitaxel

J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1996 Jan;97(1 Pt 1):42-6. doi: 10.1016/s0091-6749(96)70281-6.


Background: Paclitaxel, a member of a new class of antineoplastic agents called the taxanes, has been associated with anaphylactoid reactions.

Objective: We report a case of successful parental desensitization to paclitaxel.

Methods: Desensitization was performed with serial 10-fold dilutions (up to 1:100,000) of paclitaxel in sufficient volume to administer successive doses of 1, 2, 4, and 8 ml. Basophil histamine release tests were performed with paclitaxel alone, vehicle alone, and paclitaxel and vehicle combined to determine which agent was responsible for the anaphylactoid reactions.

Results: After parental desensitization was performed, the patient was able to tolerate infusion of paclitaxel without complications or need for antihistamines or steroids. Basophil histamine release occurred only with paclitaxel and not with the vehicle.

Conclusions: Successful parenteral desensitization to paclitaxel can be achieved; it is paclitaxel, and not its vehicle, that is most likely responsible for anaphylactoid reactions in patients undergoing treatment.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / adverse effects*
  • Cystadenocarcinoma / drug therapy*
  • Desensitization, Immunologic*
  • Drug Hypersensitivity / prevention & control*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Parenteral
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Paclitaxel / adverse effects*


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Paclitaxel