- 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.
- 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).
- 112 patients with R/M HNSCC who received cetuximab were analyzed for skin toxicity and associations with survival outcomes.
- Funding: None.
- Retrospective study.
- Small patient sample size (only 8 patients in the early skin toxicity group).