Targeted Oncology

, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 173–181 | Cite as

The predictive role of skin rash with cetuximab and panitumumab in colorectal cancer patients: a systematic review and meta-analysis of published trials

  • F. Petrelli
  • K. Borgonovo
  • S. Barni


Skin rash is an early and frequent phenomenon during treatment with anti-epidermal growth factor receptor monoclonal antibodies. The objective of this review is to assess the predictive value of skin rash in patients with advanced colorectal cancer treated with cetuximab and panitumumab. We searched PubMed and ASCO Meetings for publications reporting the correlation of skin rash with survival and/or response rate. Hazard ratios (HRs) with 95 % confidence intervals for progression and/or survival, and/or risk ratios (RRs) for response rate in patients with rash were obtained from publications and pooled in a meta-analysis. Fourteen publications (for a total of 3,833 patients) were included in this meta-analysis. The occurrence of skin toxicity represents a predictive factor for survival (HR 0.51; p < 0.00001) and progression (HR 0.58; p < 0.00001). Similarly, patients who developed moderate or severe rash had an increased chance of response (35 vs 13 %; RR 2.23, p < 0.00001). The occurrence of skin rash during treatment with cetuximab and panitumumab represents a significant predictor of the efficacy of these drugs. The hypothesis that, in patients who lack substantial skin toxicity, this treatment is not beneficial and requires early discontinuation deserves further study.


Skin rash Cetuximab Panitumumab Colorectal cancer Response Survival 


Conflict of interest

Neither the authors nor their institutions at any time received payment or services from a third party for any aspect of the submitted work (including but not limited to grants, data monitoring board, study design, manuscript preparation, statistical analysis, etc.).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag France 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Oncology Unit, Azienda Ospedaliera TreviglioUO OncologiaTreviglioItaly

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