Dr LeBoeuf said another interesting finding was that the majority of the improvements seen occurred at Dana-Farber’s main campus, where there is on-site integration of dermatology and oncology.

“This speaks to how we must think about extending this message out to our community oncologists and community dermatologists,” she said.

Mario Lacouture, MD, director of the Oncodermatology program at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, and the lead author on the 2010 Northwestern study and founder of the first Oncodermatology program in 2006, said that oncologists and dermatologists need to communicate, but do not always need to be in the same location for optimal dermatologic care to be provided to patients.

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“It should be analogous to how a patient undergoing stem cell transplantation or radiation to the head and neck required a dental evaluation prior to the intervention,” Dr Lacouture said. “It only makes sense that a patient receiving a drug that results in skin toxicities that affect quality of life, see a dermatologist at baseline to help carry them through these untoward events.”

The availability of a dermatologist would also allow the oncologist to focus on the important task of dealing directly with the malignancy, Dr Lacouture said.

In an editorial published in conjunction with the study, Bernice Y. Kwong, MD, of Stanford University School of Medicine, California, emphasized that as the burden of cancer continues to grow, the role of dermatologists in addressing skin toxicities will only become more important.3

“Timely and consistent access to dermatologic expertise in oncology practices is critical to prevent unnecessary discontinuation of life-saving anticancer therapy,” she wrote. “Increased dermatologic care for patients undergoing anticancer therapy, in collaboration with multidisciplinary specialists in oncology, may lead to a tremendous synergy and may improve the quality of life and health outcomes of patients with cancer.”

Disclsoures: Dr LeBoeuf reported receiving personal fees from Bayer, Sanofi, and Seattle Genetics outside the submitted work. Dr Mostaghimi reported personal fees from Pfizer and 3Derm, equity ownership in Lucid, and personal fees from hims outside the submitted work. Dr Mostaghimi is Associate Editor of JAMA Dermatology but had no role in the decision to accept this article for publication. Dr Kwong reported serving as a consultant for Genentech and Oncoderm; and serving on the advisory board for Kyowa Kirin.

Disclosure: Some of the authors of the original study and editorial disclosed financial ties with the pharmaceutical industry and/or the medical device industry. For a full list of disclosures, please refer to the original articles.


  1. Lacouture ME, Mitchell EP, Piperdi B, et al. Skin toxicity evaluation protocol with panitumumab (STEPP), a phase II, open-label, randomized trial evaluating the impact of pre-emptive skin treatment regimen on skin toxicities and quality of life in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer. J Clin Oncol. 2010;28(8):1351-1357. doi:10.1200/JCO.2008.21.7828
  2. Yu Z, Dee EC, Bach DQ, Mostaghimi A, LeBoeuf NR. Evaluation of a comprehensive skin toxicity program for patients treated with epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitors at a cancer treatment center. JAMA Dermatol. Published online July 1, 2020.doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2020.1795.
  3. Kwong BY. Outcomes of embedding dermatologic care within oncology practices for patients with cancer. JAMA Dermatol. Published online July 1, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2020.1794