DOI: 10.1177/10781552241232693 ISSN: 1078-1552

Carboplatin desensitization – simplified 4-step 2-bag method

Polly E Kintzel, Gregory M Gressel, Brett T Van Rossum, Kristin N Hillaker, Lauren L Ice, Jacqueline J Eastman
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Oncology


Our cancer program adopted a method for carboplatin desensitization (4-step 2-bag method) that administers the same intensity of drug exposure with a simplified approach to product management in comparison to a published protocol (4-step 4-bag method).


The intensity of carboplatin administration for 1:1,000, 1:100, 1:10, and 1:1 dilutions and concomitant fluid administration were compared for the 4-step 2-bag (bags A, B) and 4-step 4-bag (bags 1, 2, 3, 4) methods. Pharmacy preparation of bags A and B is described. A succinct overview of the desensitization procedure is provided. Important considerations germane to pharmacy practice are presented. Chart review of patients who underwent carboplatin desensitization with the 4-step 2-bag method between 7/13/2021 and 11/22/2023 was performed to demonstrate institutional use.


The 4-step 2-bag method delivers similar rates of drug intensity from start of desensitization to completion of the planned dose as the previously published 4-step 4-bag method. Accuracy of regimen-based dose administration is assured by infusion of bag B contents irrespective of infusion interruptions or rate changes necessitated by patient tolerance. Bag A provides the 1:1000 dilution in a pharmaceutically elegant manner using administration rates and volumes compatible with clinical practice.


The 4-step 2-bag method for carboplatin desensitization administers controlled drug titration corresponding to 1:1000, 1:100, 1:10, and 1:1 dilutions for dose administration using two compounded admixture bags. Inaugural clinical use of the 4-step 2-bag method for carboplatin desensitization at our healthcare facility has proceeded with expected patient tolerance.

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