Which To Treat, Cancer Or Heart Problems?
Pharmacological and cellular treatment of cancer is changing dramatically with benefits for patient outcome and comfort, but also with new toxicity profiles. The majority of adverse events can be classified as mild or moderate, but severe and life-threatening complications requiring ICU admission also occur. The rising stars in cancer treatment are approaches by which the patient’s immunological self-defence is strengthened in a feasible and effective manner by activating immune effectors and/or decreasing their tolerance. However, while earlier cancer drugs cause adverse events by compromising defence mechanisms, the new classes of immune therapeutics may induce overwhelming inflammatory responses and autoimmunity. Affected patients mostly develop fever, chills, hypotension, and tachycardia during or immediately after drug administration. Furthermore, the syndrome may cause a broad spectrum of constitutional and organ-related disorders, as well as blood test abnormalities. During the past years, many new compounds have been introduced in clinical cancer treatment, and cellular therapy is a highly dynamic evolving field. Knowledge about the pathophysiology of new side effects and the recommendations for their diagnostic and therapeutic management are still very limited, and strategies to identify patients who are at-risk for different complications are still work-in-progress. Credit: BioMed Central Critical Care.
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