Cetuximab-induced rash is associated with overall survival in patients with recurrent/metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of head and neck

SEZGİN GÖKSU S., TATLI A. M., Geredeli Ç., Atcı M., Besen A. A., Mertsoylu H., ...More

Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology, vol.88, no.5, pp.805-812, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 88 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00280-021-04328-9
  • Journal Name: Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, PASCAL, BIOSIS, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE
  • Page Numbers: pp.805-812
  • Keywords: Cetuximab, Rash, Head and neck
  • Istanbul Medipol University Affiliated: Yes


Purpose: In this study, we looked for whether treatment-induced rash predicts treatment efficacy in patients with recurrent/metastatic HNSCC treated with Cetuximab and chemotherapy. Methods: Patients who were treated with platinum-based chemotherapy and cetuximab for the first line treatment of recurrent/metastatic HNSCC were recruited. Presence of rash, hypomagnesemia, hypopotassemia, anemia, neutropenia, thrombocytopenia during treatment and treatment response, date of progression, date of last visit and death were recorded. Results: A total of 138 patients’ data were available for analysis. Any grade of rash was detected in 57 (44.5%) of the patients. The incidence of rash was significantly higher in patients with objective response than in patients with disease progression (%56.8 vs %14.3, p < 0.001). Progression free survival was 7.06 months (4.98–9.15) in patients treated with cetuximab and chemotherapy as first line treatment. In the multivariate analysis; rash was significantly correlated with longer PFS (HR 2.136; 95% CI 1.067–4.278; p = 0.032). Progression free survival was 9.65 months in patients who experienced rash, and 6.02 months in patients without rash, (p = 0.019, log-rank test). Overall survival was 11.24 months (9.65–12.82). In multivariate analysis, the survival of patients with rash was significantly longer than patients without rash (HR 1.954; 95% CI 1.162–3.285; p = 0.012). Overall survival was 15.08 months in patients who experienced rash, and 8.61 months in patients without rash (p = 0.05, log-rank test). Conclusion: Cetuximab-induced rash is associated with better ORR and longer PFS and OS in patients with recurrent/metastatic HNSCC treated with Cetuximab and platinum-based chemotherapy.