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Monday 01 January 2001

Nursing considerations for managing topotecan-related hematologic side effects.

By: Anastasia PJ.

Clin J Oncol Nurs 2001 Jan-Feb;5(1):9-13

Topotecan (Hycamtin, SmithKline Beecham, Philadelphia, PA) was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1996 for use in relapsed ovarian cancer and in 1999 for platinum-sensitive small-cell lung cancer. Hematologic toxicity has been the predominant side effect associated with its use. Patients who have had extensive platinum-based therapy have exhibited increased degrees of thrombocytopenia and more severe neutropenia. These adverse events can be managed by identifying high-risk patients (i.e., those with more than six cycles of chemotherapy containing an alkylating agent or radiation to more than 25% of marrow-bearing bones, patients with a history of myelosuppression or renal impairment) and by recommending appropriate dose modifications based on the creatinine clearance measurement. By reducing the topotecan dose, myelosuppressive effects, as evidenced by neutropenia and thrombocytopenia, may be lessened or prevented without reducing the antitumor response.

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