Targeted therapy-induced diarrhea: A review of the literature

M. A. Pessi, N. Zilembo, E. R. Haspinger, L. Molino, S. Di Cosimo, M. Garassino, C. I. Ripamonti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose of research: Revision of the literature on targeted therapy-induced diarrhea (TT-ID). Principal results: TT-ID is frequent; the mechanisms are mainly secretive, followed by ischemic or autoimmune ones. The duration of TT-ID is protracted over time. Its intensity is of grade G1-G3 but may be fatal in patients with diffuse colitis or on ipilimumab. However, no specific guidelines are available on management of different grades of TT-ID. Preventive measures with antibiotics, probiotics or activated charcoal should be further investigated. Loperamide is the first choice drug followed by octreotide. The role of corticosteroids is controversial. Conclusion: Early assessment and management of TT-ID is essential to prevent the worsening of this side-effect, patients' hospitalization and dose reduction or oncological treatment discontinuation. Future research is needed to better understand the pathophysiological mechanisms of TT-ID and it should also be investigated whether a specific pharmacological and/or non pharmachological approach is indicated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-179
Number of pages15
JournalCritical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Assessment
  • Diarrhea
  • Incidence
  • Targeted therapy
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Hematology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Medicine(all)


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