Oct 1, 1977

Pulmonary toxicity of antineoplastic agents

The Western Journal of Medicine
M R Green


Pulmonary parenchymal or pleural reactions to chemotherapeutic agents used in the management of patients with malignant diseases are being recognized with increasing frequency. Alkylating agents, asparaginase, bleomycin, methotrexate and procarbazine have all been implicated. Some of the reactions, such as the rare procarbazine pleuritis and pneumonitis, represent hypersensitivity phenomena. Others, such as alkylating agent pulmonary toxicity, appear to be direct toxic effects of the drugs. The severity of the toxicity is variable. The appearance of these pulmonary changes must be differentiated from tumor progression or a variety of possible infections. The awareness of possible pulmonary toxicity is of great importance since early discontinuation of the agent following the first hint of pulmonary toxicity may allow partial or complete reversal of the process. Continued therapy in the face of drug-related pulmonary toxicity may enhance the likelihood of irreversible pulmonary compromise with respiratory failure and death.

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Mentioned in this Paper

Antineoplastic Agents
Respiratory Failure
Cell Differentiation Process
Malignant Paraganglionic Neoplasm
Pulmonary Toxicity
Lung Diseases

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