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Skin toxicity evaluation in patients treated with cetuximab for metastatic colorectal cancer: a new tool for more accurate comprehension of quality of life impacts

Authors De Tursi M, Zilli M, Carella C, Auriemma M, Lisco MN, Di Nicola M, Di Martino G, Natoli C, Amerio P

Received 16 November 2016

Accepted for publication 7 March 2017

Published 16 June 2017 Volume 2017:10 Pages 3007—3015


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Tohru Yamada

Michele De Tursi,1 Marinella Zilli,1 Consiglia Carella,1 Matteo Auriemma,2 Maria Nadia Lisco,2 Marta Di Nicola,3 Giuseppe Di Martino,4 Clara Natoli,1 Paolo Amerio2

1Department of Medical, Oral and Biotechnological Sciences, Medical Oncology Unit, 2Department of Dermatology and Venereology, 3Laboratory of Biostatistics, Department of Medical, Oral and Biotechnological Sciences, 4Department of Medicine and Aging Science, University degli Studi “G d’Annunzio” Chieti-Pescara, Chieti, Italy

Objectives: The effectiveness of evaluation of the severity of epidermal growth-factor receptor inhibitor (EGFRI)-associated dermatological toxicities remains a topic of debate. This study was designed to assess the correlation between quality of life (QoL) and severity of dermatological toxicity, evaluated using the National Cancer Institute’s Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (NCI-CTCAE) and our novel scale, the Eruption Scoring System (ESS), in metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC) patients treated with first-line chemotherapy combined with cetuximab.
Methods: Cutaneous toxicity was evaluated, by oncologists and dermatologists, in patients (n=30) with histologically confirmed metastatic CRC who were scheduled to begin first-line chemotherapy combined with the EGFRI, cetuximab, using the NCI-CTCAE and ESS tools. Health-related QoL (HRQoL) was evaluated using the Skindex-29 and Skindex-17 dermatology-specific instruments. Correlations between QoL and skin toxicity severity were assessed using Spearman’s rank tests. Interclass correlation coefficients were used to assess interoperator agreement for ESS and NCI-CTCAE v4.0 scoring.
Results: A positive correlation was identified between dermatology HRQoL and the severity of dermatological toxicities assessed using the NCI-CTCAE v4.0 scale for cutaneous papulopustular acneiform rash; however, a stronger correlation was observed between HRQoL and toxicities evaluated using the ESS tool. Both NCI-CTCAE v4.0 and ESS tools demonstrated good interobserver agreement for grading of skin toxicity.
Conclusion: There is a strong correlation between the scores generated by the ESS and NCI-CTCAE tools to grade cutaneous toxicity related to treatment with the anti-EGFR monoclonal antibody, cetuximab. ESS can be considered a valid instrument for identification and grading of the severity of skin toxicity induced by cetuximab, with some advantages over the standard NCI-CTCAE scoring system.

Keywords: cetuximab, skin toxicity, EGFRI, colorectal cancer, ESS

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