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Chemo and targeted anticancer therapies present significant skin adverse reactions, which impair the patients' quality of life. Cutaneous toxicities lead to poor treatment adherence, drug cessation, and psychosocial distress. This review aims to summarize the current knowledge concerning the prevention and management of skin toxicity arising from these therapies. A systematic literature search on online databases was conducted. The categorization of the main preventive and treatment measures was performed according to the level of evidence. Management of skin adverse reactions of oncology treatments is very heterogeneous, which can be explained by the lack of sound evidence-based treatments. The most studied adverse effects are papulopustular eruption, xerosis, and hand-foot syndrome. Prevention of xerosis stands out as the strategy most supported by level II studies. With respect to treatment, the use of antibiotics in papulopustular eruption resulting from anti-epidermal growth factor receptor agents is the most evidence-based approach. In general, the number of studies published in the literature classified with a level II of evidence (52%) is similar to the ones classified as level IV (33%), making clear the need of more randomized controlled trials regarding the effectiveness of preventive and treatment measures of skin adverse reactions of chemo and targeted anticancer therapies.


Diva Silva, Ana Gomes, José Ms Lobo, Vera Almeida, Isabel F Almeida. Management of skin adverse reactions in oncology. Journal of oncology pharmacy practice : official publication of the International Society of Oncology Pharmacy Practitioners. 2020 Oct;26(7):1703-1714

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PMID: 32635811

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