Thursday, August 9, 2007

Chemotherapy Overdose II

It is reported in the 21 April edition of the Pharmceutical Journal that a misinterpretation of a myeloma chemotherapy protocol consisting of idarubicin and dexamethasone (Z-DEX treatment) has resulted in the deaths of two patients. The wording “40 mg/m2 in divided doses over four days” has led to 40 mg/m2 per day rather than 10 mg/m2 per day for four consecutive days.

A further letter in the 5 May edition calls our attention to the Systemic Anti-Cancer Therapy Study currently underway and run by the National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death (NCEPOD).

NCEPOD, a registered charity, aims to “review medical clinical practice and to make recommendations to improve the quality of the delivery of care. We do this by undertaking confidential surveys covering many different aspects of medical care and making recommendations for clinicians and management to implement.

The aim of the study is to examine the care of adults with tumours, acute leukaemias or aggressive lymphomas who receive chemotherapy, monoclonal antibodies or cytokines and who die within 30 days of receiving treatment.

The protocol is here.

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