Does sunscreen prevent epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitor-induced rash? results of a placebo-controlled trial from the north central cancer treatment group (N05C4)

Aminah Jatoi, Abby Thrower, Jeff A. Sloan, Patrick J. Flynn, Nicole Lee Wentworth-Hartung, Shaker R. Dakhil, Bassam I. Mattar, Daniel A. Nikcevich, Paul Novotny, Aleksandar Sekulic, Charles L. Loprinzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose. Rash occurs in >50% of patients prescribed epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitors. This study was undertaken to determine whether sunscreen prevents or mitigates these rashes. Methods. This placebo-controlled, double-blinded trial enrolled rash-free patients starting an EGFR inhibitor. Patients were randomly assigned to sunscreen with a sun protection factor of 60 applied twice a day for 28 days versus placebo. They were then monitored for rash and quality of life (Skindex-16) during the 4-week intervention and for an additional 4 weeks. Results. Fifty-four patients received sunscreen, and 56 received placebo; the arms were balanced at baseline. During the 4-week intervention, physician-reported rash occurred in 38 (78%) and 39 (80%) sunscreentreated and placebo-exposed patients, respectively (p = 1.00); no significant differences in rash rates emerged over the additional 4 weeks. There were no significant differences in rash severity, and patient-reported outcomes of rash yielded similar conclusions. Adjustment for sun intensity by geographical zone, season, and use of photosensitivity medications did not yield a significant difference in rash across study arms (p =.20). Quality of life scores declined but remained comparable between arms. Conclusions. Sunscreen, as prescribed in this trial, did not prevent or attenuate EGFR inhibitor-induced rash.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1016-1022
Number of pages7
JournalOncologist
Volume15
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - 2010

Bibliographical note

Copyright:
Copyright 2011 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • EGFR
  • Placebo
  • Rash
  • Sunscreen

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