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Chemotherapy as cause of refractory severe headache in a case of small-cell lung cancer
  1. Ankita Chouksey Rai1,
  2. Abhishek Goyal2,
  3. Alkesh Kumar Khurana1 and
  4. Anoohya Vangala2
  1. 1Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Sleep and Critical Care, All India Institute of Medical Science - Bhopal, Bhopal, Madhya pradesh, India
  2. 2Pulmonary Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Science - Bhopal, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India
  1. Correspondence to Dr Abhishek Goyal; avi784{at}


Small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) is a very fast growing form of cancer and is characterised by early metastasis. As a result, chemotherapy is the mainstay of treatment. Platinum-containing combination regimens are the current treatment of choice for limited stage-SCLC and extensive stage SCLC. Various adverse effects after cisplatin and etoposide chemotherapy include nausea, nephrotoxicity, cardiotoxicity, hepatotoxicity, neurotoxicity, alopecia, gastrointestinal toxicity and myelosuppression. However, severe headache has not been reported yet. Here, we report one such case of severe refractory headache postcisplatin and etoposide chemotherapy which responded only to change in chemotherapy regime. All pertinent causes of headache were ruled out prior to changing the chemotherapy regimen.

  • chemotherapy
  • headache (including migraines)
  • lung cancer (oncology)

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  • Contributors ACR: patient management and manuscript preparation. AG: patient management and manuscript editing. AKK: patient management and Manuscript editing. AV: patient management.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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