Cisplatin is a platinum chemotherapeutic used in a variety of malignancies. The antineoplastic activity occurs from DNA cross-links and adducts, in addition to the generation of superoxide radicals. Nephrotoxicity is the most well-known and potentially most clinically significant toxicity. Unfortunately, the mechanism for cisplatin nephrotoxicity has not been completely elucidated; however, many theories have been developed. Other toxicities include gastrointestinal, myelosuppression, ototoxicity and neurotoxicity. Saline diuresis is currently the most accepted way to prevent cisplatin nephrotoxicity. Research has focused on pharmaceuticals and enzyme/molecular alterations as alternatives to long-term diuresis. No agents have currently been identified that can protect from all toxicities. Cisplatin has shown activity against osteosarcoma, transitional cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), melanoma, mesothelioma, carcinomatosis and germinal cell tumours in the dog. In the cat, cisplatin cannot be utilized because of fulminant pulmonary oedema that occurs at standard doses. Intralesional cisplatin has been utilized in horses for the treatment of SCC and sarcoids.
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