Supportive Care in Cancer

, Volume 25, Issue 11, pp 3545–3549 | Cite as

Prevention of palmoplantar erythrodysesthesia in patients treated with pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (Caelyx®)

  • S. JungEmail author
  • J. Sehouli
  • R. Chekerov
  • F. Kluschke
  • A. Patzelt
  • H. Fuss
  • F. Knorr
  • J. Lademann
Original Article



Palmoplantar erythrodysesthesia (PPE) is one of the most frequent side effects during systemic treatment with pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (PLD, Caelyx®). PPE lesions show a range of symptoms, from numbness to painful erosions, and can have a major impact on the quality of life in affected patients. Previously, a possible pathomechanism of PPE was found in doxorubicin-treated patients based on radical formation in the skin. Here, a preventive strategy using a topically applied ointment with a high radical protection factor was investigated.


In this randomized placebo-controlled double-blind study the antioxidant-containing ointment was compared with a placebo ointment regarding PPE grade III occurrence, overall PPE grade I–III occurrence and PPE severity in PLD patients. The verum or placebo cream was topically applied for a period of 16 weeks, starting 3 days prior to the first cycle of chemotherapy. Clinical evaluations were carried out by a dermatologist prior to the first cycle of chemotherapy and every 4 weeks for the duration of 16 weeks.


Thirty-two patients were enrolled in total, of which 17 (66%) completed the study. No PPE grade III was found in the verum group, while five out of seven patients (71%) had to be unblinded in the placebo arm due to PPE grade III (p = 0.003). General PPE occurrence of all grades was 60% under verum and 86% under placebo treatment.


The preventive application of an antioxidant-containing ointment was shown to be significantly more effective in the prevention of PPE grade III compared to placebo treatment.


Hand-foot syndrome Palmar plantar erythrodysesthesia Burgdorf’s disease Antioxidants Chemotherapy Dermal side effects Mapisal 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The study was supported by Medac, Gesellschaft für klinische Spezialpräparate, Wedel, Germany.

J. Lademann: Consulting role in Medac GmbH.

Primary data is available and the authors agree to allow a review of the data upon request.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Jung
    • 1
    Email author
  • J. Sehouli
    • 2
  • R. Chekerov
    • 2
  • F. Kluschke
    • 1
  • A. Patzelt
    • 1
  • H. Fuss
    • 3
  • F. Knorr
    • 1
  • J. Lademann
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Dermatology, Venerology and Allergology, Center of Experimental and Applied Cutaneous PhysiologyCharité – Universitätsmedizin BerlinBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Department of Gynaecology and ObstetricsCharité – Universitätsmedizin BerlinBerlinGermany
  3. 3.Department of Hematology, Oncology and Palliative CareHelios Klinikum Bad SaarowBad SaarowGermany

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