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Matthieu Picard, Ursula A. Matulonis and Mariana Castells

Ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer death among women in the United States. Chemotherapy using a taxane and platinum combination is key in improving survival in patients with newly diagnosed advanced ovarian cancer and is also used to treat recurrent platinum-sensitive disease. However, hypersensitivity reactions (HSRs) to chemotherapeutic agents are increasingly common and can greatly limit their use. Moreover, because of the frequent lack of equally effective alternative agents, chances of survival can be compromised. Therefore, physicians caring for these patients must be familiar with the management of HSRs to chemotherapy, and major advancements have recently been made in this field. Most HSRs implicate mast cell and basophil activation either through an IgE-mediated (ie, platinum agents) or nonspecific (ie, taxanes) mechanism. Therefore, these reactions have the potential to lead to anaphylaxis, at which time they should be treated with intramuscular epinephrine. Serum tryptase, which is released alongside histamine after mast cell activation, may be measured after an acute HSR to document mast cell involvement. After an HSR, the decision to re-treat with the same agent or a closely related one will vary depending on the causative drug, the type of HSR, and its severity. Drug desensitization has emerged as a safe and effective way of reintroducing a chemotherapeutic agent or monoclonal antibody responsible for an HSR in a patient who is expected to benefit from its continued use and for whom alternatives are considered less effective and/or more toxic. Currently, candidates for desensitization are preferably evaluated in academic settings with expertise in those procedures, because their use is still limited. Efforts are now needed to increase awareness about desensitization procedures so that more patients may benefit. This challenge will require the close collaboration of patients, nurses, oncologists, and allergists.

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Jason Gotlib, Aaron T. Gerds, Prithviraj Bose, Mariana C. Castells, Michael W. Deininger, Ivana Gojo, Krishna Gundabolu, Gabriela Hobbs, Catriona Jamieson, Brandon McMahon, Sanjay R. Mohan, Vivian Oehler, Stephen Oh, Eric Padron, Philip Pancari, Nikolaos Papadantonakis, Animesh Pardanani, Nikolai Podoltsev, Raajit Rampal, Erik Ranheim, Lindsay Rein, David S. Snyder, Brady L. Stein, Moshe Talpaz, Swapna Thota, Martha Wadleigh, Katherine Walsh, Mary Anne Bergman and Hema Sundar

Mastocytosis is a group of heterogeneous disorders resulting from the clonal proliferation of abnormal mast cells and their accumulation in the skin and/or in various extracutaneous organs. Systemic mastocytosis is the most common form of mastocytosis diagnosed in adults, characterized by mast cell infiltration of one or more extracutaneous organs (with or without skin involvement). The identification of KIT D816V mutation and the emergence of novel targeted therapies have significantly improved the diagnosis and treatment of systemic mastocytosis. However, certain aspects of clinical care, particularly the diagnosis, assessment, and management of mediator-related symptoms continue to present challenges. This manuscript discusses the recommendations outlined in the NCCN Guidelines for the diagnosis and management of patients with systemic mastocytosis.

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Robert J. Morgan, Ronald D. Alvarez, Deborah K. Armstrong, Robert A. Burger, Mariana Castells, Lee-may Chen, Larry Copeland, Marta Ann Crispens, David Gershenson, Heidi Gray, Ardeshir Hakam, Laura J. Havrilesky, Carolyn Johnston, Shashikant Lele, Lainie Martin, Ursula A. Matulonis, David M. O’Malley, Richard T. Penson, Steven W. Remmenga, Paul Sabbatini, Joseph T. Santoso, Russell J. Schilder, Julian Schink, Nelson Teng, Theresa L. Werner, Miranda Hughes and Mary A. Dwyer

These NCCN Guidelines Insights focus on the major updates for the 2012 NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines) for Ovarian Cancer by describing how and why the new recommendations were made. The 6 update topics were selected based on recent important updates in the guidelines and on debate among panel members about recent clinical trials, and include: 1) screening, 2) diagnostic tests for assessing pelvic masses, 3) primary treatment using neoadjuvant chemotherapy, 4) primary adjuvant treatment using bevacizumab in combination with chemotherapy, 5) therapy for recurrent disease, and 6) management of drug/hypersensitivity reactions. These NCCN Guidelines Insights also discuss why some recommendations were not made (eg, panel members did not feel the new data warranted changing the guideline). See “Updates” in the NCCN Guidelines for Ovarian Cancer for a complete list of all the recent revisions.