Dermatologic adverse events in pediatric patients receiving targeted anticancer therapies: A pooled analysis

Viswanath Reddy Belum, Courtney Washington, Christine A. Pratilas, Vincent Sibaud, Franck Boralevi, Mario E. Lacouture

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Background: The dermatologic adverse events (AEs) of various molecularly targeted therapies are well-described in adult cancer patients. Little has been reported on the incidence and clinical presentation of such AEs in pediatric patients with cancer. To address this gap, we analyzed the dermatologic AEs reported across clinical trials of targeted anticancer therapies in pediatric patients. Procedures: We conducted an electronic literature search (PubMed, American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meetings' abstracts,, NCI's Pediatric Oncology Branch webpage) to identify clinical trials involving targeted anticancer therapies that reported dermatologic AEs in their safety data. Studies were limited to the pediatric population, monotherapy trials (oncology), and English language publications. Results: Pooled data from 19 clinical studies investigating 11 targeted anticancer agents (alemtuzumab, rituximab, imatinib, dasatinib, erlotinib, vandetanib, sorafenib, cabozantinib, pazopanib, everolimus, and temsirolimus) were analyzed. The most frequently encountered dermatologic AEs were rash (127/660; 19%), xerosis (18/100; 18%), mucositis (68/402; 17%), and pruritus (12/169; 7%). Other AEs included pigmentary abnormalities of the skin/hair (13%), hair disorders (trichomegaly, hypertrichosis, alopecia, and madarosis; 14%), urticaria (7%), palmoplantar erythrodysesthesia (7%), erythema, acne, purpura, skin fissures, other 'unknown skin changes', exanthem, infection, flushing, telangiectasia, and photosensitivity. Conclusion: This study describes the dermatologic manifestations of targeted anticancer therapy-related AEs in the pediatric population. Since these AEs are often associated with significant morbidity, it is imperative that pediatric oncologists be familiar with their recognition and management, to avoid unnecessary dose modifications and/or termination, and to prevent impairments in patients' quality of life. Pediatr Blood Cancer 2015;62:798-806.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)798-806
Number of pages9
JournalPediatric Blood and Cancer
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Adverse events
  • Dermatologic
  • Mucositis
  • Pediatric
  • Pruritus
  • Rash
  • Targeted therapies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Hematology
  • Oncology


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