With the advancement of research in cancer treatment more and more drugs are being introduced for the treatment of cancer. In this review study, we have tried to look at some of the relatively newly introduced drugs, commonly referred to as biologics. The aim of this study was to review the very rare but fatal pulmonary toxicities (mostly interstitial lung disease) caused by these drugs. The drugs that were reviewed are rituximab, cetuximab, bevacizumab, alemtuzumab, and trastuzumab. This review basically aims at presenting a basic introduction (mechanism of action and indications of use) of these drugs followed by a summary of the incidence, various clinical presentations, diagnosis, treatment options, and outcome of patients around the world who presented with pulmonary toxicities caused by these drugs.
Departments of aInternal Medicine, Fairview Hospital
bHematology and Medical Oncology, Fairview Hospital, Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Correspondence to Dr Maajid Mumtaz Peerzada, MD, Department of Internal Medicine, Fairview Hospital, 18101 Lorain Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44111, USA
Tel: +1 216 476 7029; fax: +1 216 476 2944;
Received 9 July 2009 Revised form accepted 5 October 2009