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Hand-foot syndrome (HFS) is a well-established cutaneous adverse event of certain chemotherapeutic agents, mainly capecitabine, continuously infused 5-fluorouracil, docetaxel and pegylated liposomal doxorubicin. Erythema, dysesthesia, pain, cracking and desquamation located on palms and soles are the most characteristic manifestations. Although HFS is a reversible and non-life-threatening clinical condition, it can often affect patient's quality of life significantly, hence necessitating therapeutic modifications or even treatment discontinuation. Areas covered: This is review article on current data regarding the clinical characteristics, grading and management of HFS. Special focus has been given to recent literature studying novel therapeutic strategies. Expert opinion: Early recognition, patient education and supportive measures are considered as the key elements in the management of HFS. Up to date, treatment interruption and dose intensity reduction are the mainstay of HFS management. Many topical formulations and systemic treatment regimens have been proposed, with COX-2 inhibitors being the most promising agents. Nevertheless, large prospective randomized controlled trials are needed in order to agree on solid, evidence-based treatment algorithms.


V Nikolaou, K Syrigos, M W Saif. Incidence and implications of chemotherapy related hand-foot syndrome. Expert opinion on drug safety. 2016 Dec;15(12):1625-1633

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PMID: 27718746

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