Cutaneous Reactions to Epidermal Growth FactorReceptor Inhibitors
October 2010 | Volume 9 | Issue 10 | Original Article | 1229 | Copyright © October 2010
Rebecca G. Pomerantz BA, Ezra D. Mirvish BA, Larisa J. Geskin MD
Cutaneous toxicities are the most common adverse effects of antineoplastic therapy with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)
inhibitors. Skin reactions to this class of agents usually present as papular and/or pustular follicular eruptions developing within two
weeks of treatment onset. Other manifestations include generalized xerosis and pruritis, as well as abnormalities of the hair and nails.
For most EGFR inhibitors, the incidence and severity of cutaneous toxicity are associated with clinical benefit. At the same time,
cutaneous toxic effects may detract substantially from health-related quality of life, leading to interruption, discontinuation or dose reduction
of EGFR inhibitor therapy in significantly affected patients. Current recommendations for treatment of EGFR inhibitor-induced
eruptions are based primarily on anecdotal evidence from published case series and physicians’ own experiences, and include antibiotics,
corticosteroids and retinoids. Randomized controlled trials are needed to enable the development of evidence-based paradigms
for the treatment of EGFR inhibitor-induced skin eruptions.