Helmet Continuous Positive Airways Pressure (CPAP) treatment in a Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) patient with severe hypoxemic respiratory failure due to gemcitabine therapy

Alessandro Graziani, Stefano Tamberi, Giorgio Papiani, Federica Mirici Cappa, Pierpaolo Casalini, Giuseppe Francesco Foschi


Gemcitabine is a pyrimidine analogue used worldwide for many solid tumours such as pancreatic cancer, ovarian cancer, non small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and breast cancer. In this case report, we describe a patient who was treated with gemcitabine for NSCLC (poor differentiated squamous cell carcinoma) and who subsequently developed a severe respiratory failure with a radiological pattern of interstitial pneumoniae. Discontinuation of the drug, administration of corticosteroids and respiratory support are the mainstays of the treatment. Helmet Continuous Positive Airways Pressure (CPAP) allowed a prolonged, comfortable and safe treatment of the patient until the resolution of the acute respiratory failure. We think that helmet-CPAP could be a useful tool, even outside of intensive care unit, for the treatment of patients with severe interstitial pneumoniae due to gemcitabine therapy.


gemcitabine toxicity, helmet cpap, respiratory failure, tossicità gemcitabina, cpap con caso, insufficienza respiratoria

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ISSN: 1128-6598