Clinical characteristics of colitis induced by taxane-based chemotherapy
Background Limited data are available concerning the clinical features of toxic gastrointestinal (GI) effects of taxane-based therapy. We describe the clinical, endoscopic and histologic features of taxane-induced colitis.
Methods This retrospective study included cancer patients who received taxane therapy and underwent colonoscopy for GI symptoms from 2000-2018.
Results Of the 45,527 patients who received taxane therapy during the study period, 76 (0.2%) met the inclusion criteria. Most patients (54%) received paclitaxel, 37% docetaxel, and 9% nab-paclitaxel. The median time from taxane therapy initiation to colitis symptom onset was 31 days. The median duration of colitis symptoms was 30 days. Colitis treatment comprised immunosuppressive therapy in 8 patients (11%), antibiotics in 17 (22%), antimotility agents in 18 (24%), and octreotide or somatostatin in 2 (3%). Thirty-five patients (46%) required hospitalization and seven (9%) required admission to the intensive care unit (ICU). Endoscopy revealed mucosal ulceration in 19 patients (25%), nonulcerative inflammation in 32 (42%), and normal findings in 25 (33%). Seventeen patients (22%) had features of lymphocytic colitis. One patient had spontaneous colonic perforation that required surgical intervention. Colitis symptoms recurred in 7 patients (9%) after initial improvement. Patients who received nab-paclitaxel developed GI toxicity earlier (P=0.003), required colitis-related hospitalization more frequently (P=0.005), and received intravenous fluids more frequently (P=0.025), compared with patients who received other taxanes.
Conclusions Taxane-related colitis can present with significant inflammation on colonoscopy, and in a minority of patients as microscopic colitis. Taxane-induced colitis, although uncommon, can lead to ICU admission and colonic perforation.
Keywords Taxane, paclitaxel, docetaxel, chemotherapy, colitis, diarrhea, gastrointestinal adverse events
Ann Gastroenterol 2020; 33 (1): 59-67