Trabectedin: Uses & Sides Effects

Trabectedin is a cancer medicine that interferes with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body. Trabectedin is used to treat liposarcoma, a rare type of cancer that grows in fatty tissues of the body. Trabectedin is also used to treat leiomyosarcoma, a rare fast-growing type of cancer that grows in many tissues of the body, including fat, muscle, bone, joints, and blood vessels. Trabectedin is used to treat cancer that has spread to other parts of the body or cannot be treated with surgery.

How is trabectedin given?

Before you receive a dose of trabectedin, you may need a blood test to check your liver function.

Trabectedin is given as an infusion into a vein, through a central line IV. A healthcare provider will give you this injection.

Trabectedin must be given slowly and the infusion can take up to 24 hours to complete.

Trabectedin is usually given once every 3 weeks. Your doctor will determine how long to treat you with trabectedin.

You may be given steroid medication to prevent certain side effects of trabectedin.

Tell your caregivers if you feel any burning, pain, or swelling around the IV needle when trabectedin is injected.

Trabectedin affects your immune system. You may get infections more easily, even serious or fatal infections. Your doctor will need to examine you on a regular basis.

Your heart function may need to be checked using an electrocardiograph or ECG (sometimes called an EKG).

Precautions

You should not be treated with trabectedin if you are allergic to it.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • liver disease;
  • heart disease;
  • kidney disease.

Trabectedin can harm an unborn baby or cause birth defects if the mother or the father is taking trabectedin.

  • If you are a woman, do not use trabectedin if you are pregnant. You may need to have a negative pregnancy test before starting this treatment. Use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are using this medicine and for at least 2 months after your last dose.
  • If you are a man, use effective birth control if your sex partner is able to get pregnant. Keep using birth control for at least 5 months after your last dose.
  • Tell your doctor right away if a pregnancy occurs while either the mother or the father is using trabectedin.

You should not breast-feed while using trabectedin.

Side Effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; chest tightness, wheezing, difficult breathing; feeling light-headed; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Capillary leak syndrome is a rare but serious side effect of trabectedin. Tell your doctor right away if you have signs of this condition: stuffy or runny nose followed by weakness or tired feeling, and sudden swelling in your arms, legs and other parts of the body.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • pain, burning, irritation, or skin changes where the injection was given;
  • heart problems–chest pain, fast or pounding heartbeats, shortness of breath (even with mild exertion), swelling, rapid weight gain;
  • breakdown of muscle tissue–unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness (especially if you also have fever, unusual tiredness, and dark colored urine);
  • liver problems–nausea, upper stomach pain, confusion, tiredness, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
  • low blood cell counts–fever, chills, tiredness, mouth sores, skin sores, easy bruising, unusual bleeding, pale skin, cold hands and feet, feeling light-headed or short of breath.

Your cancer treatments may be delayed or permanently discontinued if you have certain side effects.

Common side effects may include:

  • nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite;
  • diarrhea, constipation;
  • swelling, tiredness;
  • low blood cell counts;
  • abnormal liver or kidney function tests;
  • headache;
  • feeling short of breath.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Keyword: trabectedin.

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.