Table of Contents
Chemotherapy Research and Practice
Volume 2012, Article ID 351210, 10 pages
Review Article

Dermatologic Toxicities from Monoclonal Antibodies and Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors against EGFR: Pathophysiology and Management

Division of Oncology, Department of Medicine, Montefiore Medical Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New york, NY 10461, USA

Received 18 May 2012; Revised 24 July 2012; Accepted 24 July 2012

Academic Editor: Sue S. Yom

Copyright © 2012 Shaad E. Abdullah et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibition has now been well established as an effective treatment for various cancers. The EGFR belongs to the ErbB family of tyrosine kinase receptors which regulate tumor cell differentiation, survival and proliferation. Activation of EGFR drives tumorigenesis in lung, head and neck, colorectal and pancreatic cancers. Irrespective of the type of cancer being treated and the mechanism by which tumor EGFR drives tumorigenesis, the major side effect of EGFR inhibition is a papulopustular (also described as maculopapular or acneiform) rash which occurs in about two thirds of treated patients. Interestingly, this rash has been commonly correlated with better clinical outcomes (objective tumor response and patient survival). The pathophysiology of dermatological toxicity from EGFR inhibitors is an important area of clinical research, and the proper management of the rash is essential to increase the therapeutic index from this class of drugs. In this paper, we review the dermatologic toxicities associated with EGFR inhibitors with an emphasis on its pathophysiology and clinical management.