Year : 2013  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 78-85

Management of dermatologic toxicities associated with monoclonal antibody epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitors: A case review

1 Department of Science of Health, School of Medicine, University of Catanzaro; Pharmacovigilance's Centre Calabria Region, University Hospital Mater Domini, Catanzaro, Italy
2 Oncology Unit, S. Francesco di Paola Hospital, Paola Province of Cosenza, Italy
3 Pharmacy Unit, S. Francesco di Paola Hospital, Paola Province of Cosenza, Italy

Correspondence Address:
Giovambattista De Sarro
Department of Science of Health, Chair of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, University of Catanzaro, Via T. Campanella, 115, Catanzaro 88100
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Source of Support: The Italian Drug Agency (Agenzia Italiana del Farmaco, AIFA) is kindly acknowledged for its financial and technical support, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0976-500X.120966

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Introduction: The epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitors (EGFRIs), cetuximab and panitumumab, represent an effective treatment option for patients affected by metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC); furthermore, they are relatively devoid of systemic toxicities, which are commonly observed with standard cytotoxic chemotherapy. However, the majority of patients treated with these monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), will experience dermatologic toxicities, most notably the papulopustular skin rash, which can impact quality-of-life and affect adherence to therapy. This paper reviews the most recent practices in the management of skin rash related to anti-epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mAbs, cetuximab and panitumumab, in the treatment of mCRC. Materials and Methods: We reviewed relevant literature regarding dermatologic toxicities associated with anti-EGFR mAbs in order to give important indications about prevention and reactive treatment of skin rash. Results: Two case reports were presented to show how skin rash could hamper mAb EGFRIs use in clinical practice, underscoring the need of implementing a comprehensive management strategy of skin toxicity in order to promote patients' compliance with anti-EGFR therapy and maintain quality-of-life. Based on randomized data, recent guidelines established by the Multinational Association for Supportive Care in Cancer Skin Toxicity Study Group suggest that prophylactic use of oral doxycycline or minocycline reduces the risk and severity of skin rash, improving clinical outcomes. Conclusions: At the start of treatment with cetuximab and panitumumab, the proper patient education about the skin rash associated with these mAbs and the implementation of a pre-emptive, comprehensive skin toxicity program significantly contribute to improve adherence to therapy, optimize anti-EGFR therapy and maintain quality-of-life.

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