Quality of Life in Patients With Severe Skin Reactions in Course of First-Generation Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Inhibitors Monoclonal Antibodies (Our Experience With Cetuximab)

Rossella De Luca, Gianluca Lo Coco, Raffaele Addeo, Silvia Ileana Sara Fattoruso, Annunziata Auriemma, Roberta Paci, Ornella Mistretta, Maria Stella Epifanio, Angela Salvato, Alberto D'Agostino, Giuseppe Cicero


Background: Metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) with wild type expression of RAS and RAF genes can be treated with anti-epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) monoclonal antibodies, such as cetuximab, in combination with chemotherapy. Skin toxicity represents the most serious and frequent side effect in these patients. Skin manifestations occur in approximately 80% of patients. In this study, we investigated the consequences on body image and quality of life (QoL) of patients with severe skin toxicity.

Methods: One hundred patients were enrolled with mCRC. All patients signed informed consent and completed questionnaires to assess QoL and body discomfort. Toxicity was assessed on Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (CTCAEs).

Results: The greatest impact on QoL was represented by difficulties in managing skin rash-related side effects. Data showed a significant impact in psychological sphere and social relationships.

Conclusions: Skin side effects, particularly rash, influence QoL and social relationships, compromising therapeutic compliance.

World J Oncol. 2021;12(4):104-110
doi: https://doi.org/10.14740/wjon1381


Quality of life; Cetuximab; Chemotherapy; Metastatic colorectal carcinoma; Metastases; Skin rash; Psychological reactions

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