Reducing Skin Toxicity During Cancer Treatment Studied

Skin toxicity is the most common adverse event seen with certain cancer drugs
By A. Agrawal, PhD
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Preemptive treatment reduces the development of high-grade skin toxicity (the most common adverse event observed with inhibitors of the epidermal growth factor receptor) by more than half in patients with colorectal cancer receiving panitumumab-containing therapy, according to a study published online Feb. 8 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Mario E. Lacouture, M.D., from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, and colleagues randomly assigned 95 patients with refractory metastatic colorectal cancer receiving panitumumab-containing therapy to preemptive treatment of skin toxicity (moisturizer, sunscreen, topical steroid, and doxycycline) or reactive treatment of skin toxicity (any treatment deemed necessary).

The researchers found that skin toxicities of grade 2 or higher were significantly reduced in the preemptive group versus the reactive group (29 versus 62 percent). The preemptive group also reported significantly less impairment of their quality of life, as assessed by the Dermatology Life Quality Index.

"The incidence of specific ≥ grade 2 skin toxicities during the six-week skin treatment period was reduced by more than 50 percent in the preemptive group compared with the reactive group," Lacouture and colleagues conclude. "In summary, these findings underscore the importance of establishing a preemptive, comprehensive skin toxicity program in patients treated with panitumumab."

The study was supported by Amgen. Several authors reported financial, consulting, or advisory relationships with pharmaceutical companies, including Amgen.

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