Incidence of rash among patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) treated with erlotinib may not differ based on prophylactic skin treatment, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.1

Researchers led by Barbara Melosky, MD, of the British Columbia Cancer Agency in Vancouver randomly assigned 150 patients to prophylactic minocycline, reactive treatment, or not treatment unless severe.

They measured for rash incidence and severity, time to maximal rash, time to resolution, and overall survival among the 3 groups.

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Incidence of skin toxicity was found to be 84% regardless of treatment option.

Grade 3 rash was found to be significantly higher in patients who received no treatment, while treatment with minocycline significantly extended time to the most severe grade of rash.

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While overall survival was not significantly different between the groups, prophylactic and reactive treatments were found to have a longer overall survival than those who received no treatment.

“Prophylactic minocycline and reactive treatment are both acceptable options for the necessary treatment of erlotinib-induced rash in the second- or third-line setting of metastatic NSCLC,” the authors concluded.


  1. Melosky B, Anderson H, Burkes RL, et al. Pan Canadian Rash Trial: A Randomized Phase III Trial Evaluating the Impact of a Prophylactic Skin Treatment Regimen on Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor-Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor–Induced Skin Toxicities in Patients With Metastatic Lung Cancer [published online ahead of print November 16, 2015]. J Clin Oncol. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2015.62.3918