Bleomycin-induced pneumonitis in three patients treated with chemotherapy for primary advanced seminoma

Moshe E. Stein, Jamal Zidan, Tomer Charas, Anthony Gershuny, Rahamim Ben-Yosef

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1 Scopus citations


Purpose: Bleomycin, etoposide and dsplatinum (BEP) comprise the most common regimen in the treatment of advanced testicular tumors, including seminoma. Common side effects are of hematologic, renal, and cardiovascular origin. One of the most prominent side effects is pulmonary toxicity attributed to bleomycin. We describe three patients who developed bleomycin-induced pneumonitis (BIP) with full recovery. Methods: Pre- and post-treatment clinical, biochemical (including specific tumor markers) and radiological response assessment of 26 patients with primary advanced seminoma (AS) who were referred to our hospital for platinum-based chemotherapy between 1989-2010 are described. Results: All patients were assessable for evaluation and all achieved long-term complete remission. Side effects were mild and manageable. Three patients developed bleomycin pulmonary toxicity after reaching cumulative doses of 180-240 units. All three patients presented with classical symptoms of non-productive cough, exertional dyspnea, and low-grade fever. Radiologically, the patients presented in the first months following completion of chemotherapy with initial bilateral interstitial and alveolar infiltrates, which worsened and progressed into consolidation and then regressed until total disappearance. All patients were treated with high-dose steroids and broad-spectrum antibiotics. Conclusion: AS is a very chemotherapy-responsive and sensitive disease, and approximately 90% of the patients enjoy complete regression of tumor masses and durable and sustained long-term survival with no evidence of disease. BIP may be a dangerous acute and chronic side effect, even in doses lower than 360 units. Considering the favorable clinical outcome of our patients, prompt diagnosis should be made and rapid medical intervention should be implemented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)928-932
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of B.U.ON.
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 May 2015


  • Bleomycin
  • Chemotherapy
  • Pulmonary toxicity
  • Seminoma


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