Adverse effects of antineoplastic drugs – Related resources

Cochrane reviews

  • Liposomal-encapsulated doxorubicin appears to be less cardiotoxic than conventional doxorubicin [Evidence Level: B].
  • An anthracycline infusion duration of six hours or longer reduces the risk of clinical heart failure [Evidence Level: A].
  • There are several interventions that are at least of some benefit at preventing or reducing the severity of mucositis associated with cancer treatment, e.g. amifostine, antibiotic pastille or paste and hydrolytic enzymes for patients with head and neck cancer, and ice chips for patients undergoing chemotherapy with 5-FU [Evidence Level: C].
  • Exercise may have some benefit in the management of fatigue both during and after cancer treatment [Evidence Level: B].
  • There is no evidence for or against antibiotics compared to granulocyte colony stimulating factors (G-CSF) for the prevention of infections in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy[Evidence Level: D].
  • Psychosocial interventions during cancer treatment may be effective in reducing fatigue [Evidence Level: C].
  • Low level laser treatment seems to be beneficial in reducing the severity of mucositis, although the evidence is insufficient on interventions for oral mucocitis in patients receiving treatment for cancer [Evidence Level: D].
  • 5-HT3 antagonists may be more effective than older antiemetic agents in children who are to receive highly emetogenic chemotherapy. The addition of dexamethasone to 5-HT3 antagonists appears to make them even better, although it remains uncertain how the proven benefit of steroid in reducing emesis balances with the in vitro reduction in chemotherapy sensitivity [Evidence Level: C].


  • Hesketh PJ. Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. N Engl J Med 2008 Jun 5;358(23):2482-94.  [PMID:18525044]

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