A new study showed that patients who received moisturizers, sunscreen, topical steroids, and antibiotics before treatment with panitumumab (Vectibix) were less likely to have a rash from treatment than patients who did not receive the skin treatments until the rash developed. About 90% of people taking panitumumab and 75% of those taking a related drug called cetuximab (Erbitux) develop this rash.
Of the patients who received preventive treatment, 29% had a rash, compared with 62% who did not receive preventive treatment. These patients also reported feeling better about their appearance and being more physically comfortable. Patients in this study received the skin treatment for six weeks, starting 24 hours before taking panitumumab.
What this means for patients
“The rash caused by panitumumab and cetuximab may prevent many patients from agreeing to take these drugs and either delays or interrupts treatment for many others, reducing the effectiveness of treatment,” said lead author Edith Mitchell, MD, Clinical Professor of Medicine and Medical Oncology at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. “Preventive skin treatment is likely to become a new standard of care for patients taking these drugs.”
What to Ask Your Doctor
- What treatment do you recommend?
- What are the side effects?
- What can be done before and during treatment to help me cope with any side effects?
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