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Study shows how to prevent rash from EGFR inhibitors

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http://www.curetoday.com/index.cfm/fuse ... inhibitors

By: Melissa Weber

If you're receiving an EGFR inhibitor to treat your cancer, I have some good news. Doctors now know how to prevent the skin rash that develops in up to 90 percent of patients receiving these drugs.

A combination of sunscreen, moisturizers, topical corticosteroids, and the oral antibiotic doxycycline reduced the incidence of severe rash by more than half when given to patients before Vectibix, compared with patients who were treated after the rash developed. The study was reported today at ASCO's annual meeting, and presenter Edith Mitchell, MD, of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, told reporters that her institution has already implemented the rash prevention strategy.

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Christine, it sounds great for any of us who are or may be taking Tarceva. But what about the recent research reports that the rash is related to the drug working? It's been bantered around for awhile but Katie said they recently demonstrated it's true. So, if we prevent it, wonder if it will interfere with the drug's effect.

Judy in Key West

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I don't think you would have to worry about that Judy. You aren't stopping the effect of Tarceva at the EGFR of the tumor. In fact, I would doubt you are stopping it at the skin either, you are just mitigating its effects at the skin with creams and medication.

Look at it this way, the rash is sort of a marker that the drug may be working well, it isn't causing the drug to work well. If that makes sense. Sort of like if you take the batteries out of your smoke alarm and take away the signal that there is a fire, doesn't make the fire go away.

(That's me trying to speak about science in civilian, does it work?) :)

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I can attest to the fact that this combination helps -

I had a horrible time with the rash on my scalp for about 6 months - trying many different combinations of treatments. My head was a green oozy, scabby, smelly, bald, mess!

Finally, after finding a specialist at Yale - I was put on Doxycycline and the corticosteroid Clobetasol. Within a week the rash was gone. I am still on the doxycycline and 6 weeks later there has been no re-occurrence.

I feel good for the first time in a long time. Phew!!

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