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Clin Exp Dermatol. 2011 Jun;36(4):344-50. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2230.2011.04060.x. Epub 2011 Apr 20.

Meta-analysis of dermatological toxicities associated with sorafenib.

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Department of Oncology Tianjin Lung Cancer Center and Institute, Tianjin Medical University General Hospital, Tianjin, China.


A meta-analysis was performed to determine the type, incidence and risks of dermatological toxicities associated with the multikinase inhibitor sorafenib. A literature search was performed using the electronic databases PubMed and EMBASE, and conference abstracts published by the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Eligible studies included prospective phase II or III clinical trials, and expanded-access programmes (i.e. outside a clinical trial) of patients with solid tumours assigned sorafenib at a starting dose of 400 mg twice daily. The overall incidences and risk ratios of dermatological toxicities associated with sorafenib were analysed. For patients assigned sorafenib, the overall incidence of all-grade rash/desquamation was 35.4% (95% CI 0.29-0.43), hand-foot skin reaction (HFSR) 39.0% (95% CI 0.32-0.47), alopecia 25.5% (95% CI 0.18-0.35), pruritus 14.0% (95% CI 0.10-0.20) and dry skin 14.1% (95% CI 0.10-0.20). High-grade rash/desquamation events occurred in 5.0% (95% CI 0.04-0.07), HFSR in 9.0% (95% CI 0.082-0.098), alopecia in 4/1793, pruritus in 2/1265 and dry skin in 0/1689 of patients assigned sorafenib. Meta-analysis of risk ratio showed that sorafenib was associated with a significantly increased risk of rash/desquamation [risk ratio (RR) 2.73; 95% CI 1.66-4.49)], HFSR (RR 7.50; 95% CI 3.90-14.40) and alopecia (RR 7.55; 95% CI 5.26-10.84) in patients with solid tumours, but risk of pruritus (RR 1.80; 95% CI 0.77-4.22) or dry skin (RR 2.18; 95% CI 0.88-5.40) was not increased. In conclusion, the most frequent dermatological toxicities associated with sorafenib were HFSR, rash/desquamation, alopecia, pruritus and dry skin. There was a significantly increased risk of HFSR, rash/desquamation and alopecia with sorafenib compared with placebo. Skin toxicities were mainly mild or moderate in severity. Appropriate prevention and management are recommended.

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