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Researchers Find Cause of Severe Allergic Reaction to Cancer Drug.

Clinicians have been perplexed by the fact that some patients given the drug cetuximab -- an immune-based therapy commonly used to treat persons diagnosed with head and neck cancer, or colon cancer -- have a severe and rapid adverse reaction to the drug. Sometimes the reaction includes anaphylaxis, a life-threatening condition characterized by a drop in blood pressure, fainting, difficulty breathing, and wheezing. Now researchers funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, have discovered that specific pre-existing antibodies cause the severe reaction to the drug.

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Publication:National Institutes of Health: News and Events
Date:Mar 13, 2008
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