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Hazard Alert! The current issue of Journal of Clinical Oncology includes an abstract which ambiguously states a cisplatin dose.

From the January 16, 1997 issue of MSA Acute Care Edition Newsletter

The current issue of Journal of Clinical Oncology includes an abstract which ambiguously states a cisplatin dose.1 The abstract states a chemoradiotherapy regimen as “cisplatin 75 mg/ m2 and fluorouracil (5FU) 1,000 mg/m2/d on days 1 to 4 every 4 weeks with RT, and every 3 weeks post-RT.” This implies that cisplatin should be given each time along with fluorouracil daily for 4 days, for a total cisplatin dose of 300 mg/m2 for each cycle. In fact, the Materials and Methods section of the article states that “cisplatin 75 mg/m2 intravenously was administered with hydration and mannitol diuresis on day 1, and 5FU 1,000 mg/m2/d by 96 hour infusion was administered on days 1 to 4.”

Although healthcare professionals should not utilize an article abstract to determine drug dosages, this probably does occur. Since a transcription of the cisplatin dose as published in the abstract could possibly lead to a fatal overdose, we recommend that appropriate medical, nursing, and pharmacy staff be made aware of this problem. The journal’s editorial staff has been notified.

Reference
1. Al-Sarraf M, Martz K, Herskovic A, et al. Progress report of combined chemoradiotherapy versus
radiotherapy alone in patients with esophageal cancer: An intergroup study. Journal of Clinical Oncology,
1997;15:277-284.

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