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Patterns of platinum drug use in an acute care setting: a retrospective study



Platinum drugs have been in use in cancer treatment for more than 40 years, but little is known about the pattern of their use. The aim of this study was to examine the patterns of platinum drug use, with a secondary aim to describe the occurrence of dose reductions.


A retrospective analysis was conducted of oncology pharmacy dispensing records from a single hospital in Australia. Data related to drug choice, regimen and dose reductions were included in this study if the patient had received their last round of chemotherapy between November 2014 and July 2015.


Of the 156 patients included in the study, 46% were dispensed a platinum drug during their treatment. The most commonly dispensed drugs were cisplatin (40%), carboplatin (40%) and oxaliplatin (15%), while some patients (5%) received more than one platinum drug. Dose reductions were more common in patients who were treated with a platinum drug (73%) compared with patients treated with non-platinum drugs (55%). The most common reason for a dose reduction was cytopenia.


The findings suggest that platinum drugs remain one of the most commonly dispensed drugs to treat cancer patients and most patients receive a dose reduction during treatment.

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Australian dollar


Body-mass index


Concord Repatriation General Hospital


Epidermal growth factor receptor


Interquartile range


Non-small cell lung cancer


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The authors wish to thank Rosemary Burke, Director of Pharmacy, CRGH, Robert Bayley, Oncology Pharmacy Department Manager, CRGH, and the rest of the Oncology Pharmacy Department at CRGH for graciously accommodating the researcher during the data collection phase and Professor Ines Krass, University of Sydney, Faculty of Pharmacy, for her assistance with statistical analysis.

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Correspondence to Danijela Gnjidic or Nial J. Wheate.

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Author A declares that he/she has no conflict of interest. Author B declares that he/she has no conflict of interest. Author C declares that he/she has no conflict of interest. Author D declares that he/she has no conflict of interest. Author E declares that he/she has no conflict of interest. Author F declares that he/she has no conflict of interest. Author G declares that he/she has no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. This study was approved by the Sydney Local Health District Concord Hospital Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC Reference Number: LNR/17/CRGH/196).

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Armstrong-Gordon, E., Gnjidic, D., McLachlan, A.J. et al. Patterns of platinum drug use in an acute care setting: a retrospective study. J Cancer Res Clin Oncol 144, 1561–1568 (2018).

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  • Platinum drugs
  • Cancer
  • Chemotherapy
  • Prescribing
  • Dose reductions