R/M HNSCC: early cetuximab skin toxicity tied to better OS in Japanese study

  • Front Oncol

  • curated by Brian Richardson, PhD
  • Univadis Clinical Summaries
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Takeaway

  • A retrospective study suggests that grade 3, cetuximab-induced skin toxicity within 90 days predicts better OS and PFS in recurrent/metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (R/M HNSCC).

Why this matters

  • This study offers further support of a connection between skin toxicity and cetuximab efficacy.

Key results

  • 94% of patients experienced skin toxicity, with 18% experiencing grade 3 skin toxicity, after a median follow-up of 393 days.
  • Grade 3 acneiform rash, skin rash, or paronychia within 90 days of treatment initiation (“early skin toxicity”) was associated with improved 2-year PFS (25.0% vs 2.9%; P=.045) and OS (50.0% vs 14.4%; P=.023) compared with less than grade 3 toxicity.
  • Early skin toxicity was associated with improved PFS (HR, 0.363; P=.034) and OS (HR, 0.187; P=.022) in multivariate analysis.
  • Early skin toxicity was associated with a higher rate of patients able to proceed with cetuximab maintenance (88% vs 44%; P=.021).

Study design

  • 112 patients with R/M HNSCC who received cetuximab were analyzed for skin toxicity and associations with survival outcomes.
  • Funding: None.

Limitations

  • Retrospective study.
  • Small patient sample size (only 8 patients in the early skin toxicity group).

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