The ICO and Bellvitge perform more than 400 drug desensitizations annually on chemotherapy patients

- Research

Drug desensitization is an effective and safe tool that involves inducing a temporary tolerance to a drug with which a patient has previously suffered a hypersensitivity reaction, allowing it to continue to receive its treatment despite being in allergic.

In recent years, there has been an increase in the use of oncological and haematological treatments and, in parallel, the number of allergic reactions to them has increased. These allergic reactions cause many patients to abandon their first-line treatments, often running out of equally effective alternatives and having their prognosis and quality of life affected. In order to combat these drug reactions that affect patients who need to receive chemotherapy treatment, the ICO l'Hospitalet has the support of the Desensitization Unit for Oncohematological Drugs (UDFOH) coordinated by the Allergology Service of the 'Bellvitge University Hospital, formed by a multidisciplinary team led by allergists who are experts in this process.

"Controlled provocation" is an important diagnostic tool

The Unit for Desensitization to Oncohematological Drugs (UDFOH), in addition to its care work, also carries out research to analyze the results obtained in its unit and to be able to demonstrate the effectiveness of desensitizations. In the latest scientific publication by the UDFOH in the journal JACIP (The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice), one of the most relevant journals in the world of allergology, they have analyzed the more than 600 desensitizations to drugs carried out at the ICO l'Hospitalet during the last two years in which 100% have been successfully completed.

This study also validates the use of risk stratification with skin tests and the use of the controlled provocation test in patients.

Controlled provocation is a very important diagnostic tool, as it eliminates the "false labeling" of allergy, a term known in English as delabeling, in patients who after having a reaction during treatment, and without having performed no further study, they are diagnosed with a drug allergy. This prevents them from receiving it again or, in some centers that have the option, they end up undergoing unnecessary desensitization.

The UDFOH implemented the controlled provocation in mid-2018 and, since then, has allowed to "label" up to 24% of patients evaluated, thus avoiding 226 unnecessary desensitizations and allowing these patients to receive their treatment. safely. According to Paula Vázquez, a specialist allergist in the Oncohematological Drug Desensitization Unit (ICO-HUB), thanks to the support of this unit, in the last 2 years any 24% of patients have been ruled out. allergy to chemotherapy and biological treatments thanks to controlled provocation.

During this time period, the UDFOH Desensitization Program has also made it possible to carry out 648 rapid desensitizations with 100% success, allowing all patients who were included in the program to continue receiving, within a maximum safety environment. , their first-line treatments despite being allergic to them ”. You can view the study at the following link: Delabeling Patients from Chemotherapy and Biologicals Allergy: Implementing Drug Provocation Testing.

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