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A Journal on Dermatology and Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Dermatology and Sexually Transmitted Diseases
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Giornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia 2016 February;151(1):25-31

language: English

Dermatological approach to vemurafenib skin toxicity: a single centre experience

Paolo FAVA, Elena MARRA, Chiara ASTRUA, Matteo BRIZIO, Giovanni CAVALIERE, Pietro QUAGLINO, Maria T. FIERRO, Paola SAVOIA

Department of Medical Science, University of Turin, Turin, Italy


BACKGROUND: Targeted therapies have recently changed the approach to advanced melanoma. RAF inhibitors represent the emerging standard of care for metastatic BRAF mutated melanomas. Cutaneous reactions are the most common side effects during vemurafenib treatment, and affect the quality of life. The aim of this study was to provide some practical advices to manage the drug related cutaneous reactions.
METHODS: A cohort of BRAF-mutated metastatic melanoma patients treated at our institution included 20 female and 21 male patients; median age was 56 years (32-87 years). All patients were treated at a dose of 960 mg b.i.d. orally.
RESULTS: After a median treatment duration of 7 months (range 0.5-25.2), 29/39 patients (74.4%) developed cutaneous toxicities. We identified 22 cases of maculo-papular rash (56%) and 18 of warts (46%); in a total of 10 cases we observed alterations of keratinization (25.6%), while 6 of our patients presented photosensitivity (15 %). Six patients developed keratoacanthomas; no second melanomas were observed.
CONCLUSIONS: Skin involvement during vemurafenib treatment is frequent but in the majority of cases cutaneous side effects are self-limiting and easy to manage. Moreover, sun protection is mandatory in vemurafenib treated patients, and should be started together with BRAF inhibitor in order to minimize the impact of photosensitivity on quality of life.

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