The cancer treatment-related diarrhea caused by acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) and chemotherapeutic agents, particularly fluoropyrimidines and irinotecan, significantly affects patient morbidity and mortality. The mechanisms causing cancer treatment-related diarrhea are not fully understood, but histopathologic evidence points to a multifactorial process that causes an absorptive and secretory imbalance in the small bowel. Cancer treatment-related diarrhea could be life-threatening, yet assessment and treatment are not currently standardized. Several clinicians participated in a closed roundtable meeting to review the mechanisms of chemotherapy-induced diarrhea (CID) and GVHD-induced diarrhea, management issues in cancer treatment-induced diarrhea, and pharmacologic approaches to treatment. The meeting produced a proposal for new treatment guidelines and an algorithm, which include the use of octreotide for the management of CID- and GVHD-induced diarrhea. The development of diarrhea assessment guidelines that expand on the current National Cancer Institute criteria and allow for better patient management was also proposed. Copyright (C) 2000 U.S. Cancer Pain Relief Committee.
- Bone marrow transplant
- Graft-versus-host disease