Pre-emptive treatment helped curtail skin toxicity with panitumumab

Jan 16, 2009

With a pre-emptive, prophylactic skin regimen, patients who receive panitumumab for treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer may be able to avoid some of the skin-associated toxicities, according to data presented at the 2009 American Society of Clinical Oncology Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium in San Francisco.

Edith Mitchell, M.D., a clinical professor in the Department of Medical Oncology at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, presented data from the study, which was the first prospective study to compare pre-emptive and reactive skin treatment for skin toxicities related to panitumumab. The study was co-led by Dr. Mitchell and Mario Lacouture, M.D., an assistant professor of Dermatology at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.

Skin toxicities are the most common adverse effects related to panitumumab, which is a fully human monoclonal antibody that targets the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). The toxicities could include erythema, dermatitis, pruritus, pustules, rash, and hair and nail changes.

"Panitumumab and the other EGFR inhibitors are now key components to the treatment strategies for metastatic colorectal cancer," Dr. Mitchell said. "But the majority of the patients who receive these agents suffer from skin toxicities, and for some patients, the treatment must be interrupted or discontinued. If we can prevent or minimize these toxicities, it would be a significant advance in patient care."

The researchers studied 95 patients receiving panitumumab in combination with irinotecan-based chemotherapy. The patients were randomized to receive pre-emptive skin toxicity treatment initiated 24 hours prior to the first dose of panitumumab, then given daily through week six, or reactive skin treatment after the skin toxicity developed. The skin treatment included moisturizers, sunscreen, topical steroids and oral doxycycline.

The primary endpoint was the incidence of specific grade 2 or higher skin toxicities during the six week skin treatment period. The incidence of these toxicities was reduced more than 50% in the group that received pre-emptive treatment.

Quality of life was also assessed, using the Dermatology Life Quality Index. Patients who received the pre-emptive, prophylactic skin treatment regimen reported an improved quality of life, even around week three, which was the median time to first grade 2 or higher skin toxicity in the reactive skin treatment group.

Source: Thomas Jefferson University

Explore further: The switch that might tame the most aggressive of breast cancers

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Innovative light therapy reaches deep tumors

Mar 09, 2015

Light long has been used to treat cancer. But phototherapy is only effective where light easily can reach, limiting its use to cancers of the skin and in areas accessible with an endoscope, such as the gastrointestinal ...

Looking for alternatives to antibiotics

Mar 02, 2015

Bacteria that talk to one another and organize themselves into biofilms are more resistant to antibiotics. Researchers are now working to develop drugs that prevent bacteria from communicating.

Recommended for you

Experts set strategic priorities for lymphoma research

17 hours ago

A committee of lymphoma experts today unveiled a strategic roadmap identifying key priority areas in both infrastructure and research that will be critical for advancing treatments for people with lymphoma. The report is meant to inform future research directions as well as fund ...

Research aims to reduce health care disparities

17 hours ago

The lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender/transsexual, queer/questioning and intersex (LGBTQI) population has been largely understudied by the medical community. Researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center found that the LGBTQI community ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.