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American Society of Clinical Oncology clinical practice guidelines for the use of chemotherapy and radiotherapy protectants.

PURPOSE: Because toxicities associated with chemotherapy and radiotherapy can adversely affect short- and long-term patient quality of life, can limit the dose and duration of treatment, and may be life-threatening, specific agents designed to ameliorate or eliminate certain chemotherapy and radiotherapy toxicities have been developed. Variability in interpretation of the available data pertaining to the efficacy of the three United States Food and Drug Administration-approved agents that have potential chemotherapy- and radiotherapy-protectant activity-dexrazoxane, mesna, and amifostine-and questions about the role of these protectant agents in cancer care led to concern about the appropriate use of these agents. The American Society of Clinical Oncology sought to establish evidence-based, clinical practice guidelines for the use of dexrazoxane, mesna, and amifostine in patients who are not enrolled on clinical treatment trials. METHODS: A multidisciplinary Expert Panel reviewed the clinical data regarding the activity of dexrazoxane, mesna, and amifostine. A computerized literature search was performed using MEDLINE. In addition to reports collected by individual Panel members, all articles published in the English-speaking literature from June 1997 through December 1998 were collected for review by the Panel chairpersons, and appropriate articles were distributed to the entire Panel for review. Guidelines for use, levels of evidence, and grades of recommendation were reviewed and approved by the Panel. Outcomes considered in evaluating the benefit of a chemotherapy- or radiotherapy-protectant agent included amelioration of short- and long-term chemotherapy- or radiotherapy-related toxicities, risk of tumor protection by the agent, toxicity of the protectant agent itself, quality of life, and economic impact. To the extent that these data were available, the Panel placed the greatest value on lesser toxicity that did not carry a concomitant risk of tumor protection. RESULTS AND CONCLUSION: Mesna: (1) Mesna, dosed as detailed in these guidelines, is recommended to decrease the incidence of standard-dose ifosfamide-associated urothelial toxicity. (2) There is insufficient evidence on which to base a guideline for the use of mesna to prevent urothelial toxicity with ifosfamide doses that exceed 2.5 g/m(2)/d. (3) Either mesna or forced saline diuresis is recommended to decrease the incidence of urothelial toxicity associated with high-dose cyclophosphamide use in the stem-cell transplantation setting. Dexrazoxane: (1) The use of dexrazoxane is not routinely recommended for patients with metastatic breast cancer who receive initial doxorubicin-based chemotherapy. (2) The use of dexrazoxane may be considered for patients with metastatic breast cancer who have received a cumulative dosage of 300 mg/m(2) or greater of doxorubicin in the metastatic setting and who may benefit from continued doxorubicin-containing therapy. (3) The use of dexrazoxane in the adjuvant setting is not recommended outside of a clinical trial. (4) The use of dexrazoxane can be considered in adult patients who have received more than 300 mg/m(2) of doxorubicin-based therapy for tumors other than breast cancer, although caution should be used in settings in which doxorubicin-based therapy has been shown to improve survival because of concerns of tumor protection by dexrazoxane. (5) There is insufficient evidence to make a guideline for the use of dexrazoxane in the treatment of pediatric malignancies, with epirubicin-based regimens, or with high-dose anthracycline-containing regimens. Similarly, there is insufficient evidence on which to base a guideline for the use of dexrazoxane in patients with cardiac risk factors or underlying cardiac disease. (6) Patients receiving dexrazoxane should continue to be monitored for cardiac toxicity. Amifostine: (1) Amifostine may be considered for the reduction of nephrotoxicity in patients receiving cisplatin-based chemoth[1]


  1. American Society of Clinical Oncology clinical practice guidelines for the use of chemotherapy and radiotherapy protectants. Hensley, M.L., Schuchter, L.M., Lindley, C., Meropol, N.J., Cohen, G.I., Broder, G., Gradishar, W.J., Green, D.M., Langdon, R.J., Mitchell, R.B., Negrin, R., Szatrowski, T.P., Thigpen, J.T., Von Hoff, D., Wasserman, T.H., Winer, E.P., Pfister, D.G. J. Clin. Oncol. (1999) [Pubmed]
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