16 Sep Skin Reactions in Children Treated With Targeted Cancer Therapies
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Irene Lara-Corrales, MD
Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Toronto
Staff physician in Pediatric Dermatology at the
Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada
She is a member of the Society for Pediatric Dermatology.
Christina Boull, MD
Assistant Professor of Dermatology at the University of Minnesota
Program Director for the Advanced Dermatology Medical Student Rotation
Fellowship Director for the Pediatric Dermatology Fellowship
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: We got involved in this project a couple of years ago when many members of the Pediatric Dermatology Research Alliance’s (PeDRA) Skin Tumors and Reactions to Cancer Therapies (STARC) group started seeing many patients with skin toxicities given by targeted therapies. We recognized that this was a new and growing area of skin concerns that pediatric dermatologists were starting to see. Being such a new field, and with little known about these medications, we thought it would be important to put our cases together and describe what we were seeing.
MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Are certain cancers more predisposed to these cutaneous reactions?
Response Targeted therapies are special treatments that target genetic pathways, and this is a very new way of stopping tumor growth. It is very specific to tumors that are known to have specific variants (mutations), it does not work for all types of cancers. So, we could not say that certain cancers are more predisposed to these cutaneous reactions. We can say, and the most important finding of our study, is probably that all patients that get these types of treatments are likely going to develop changes in their skin. As pediatric dermatologists, we need to educate and know about these changes to make sure we address them.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: This report highlights the importance of documenting what we see and recognizing new skin changes with newer medications. It also shows the importance of collaboration in our field, since we were able to gather a larger number of patients to describe in our manuscript.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?
Response: We need to continue to work together as newer medications are developed. This is a growing field of study and is here to stay. We are likely going to be the first to see many of the cutaneous reactions that these medications could lead to, so we need to continue working together to find ways of managing and hopefully preventing these skin changes.
MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Response: The study is reassuring in that no children developed skin cancers while taking these medications. This is different from what we see in adults who are more prone to skin cancer on BRAFI. We also saw that children are more likely to stop the medications or change the dose for side-effects that alter quality of life even if those are not life-threatening. By being aware of the potential reactions, we can take some simple measures that could help to minimize the skin eruptions and prevent interruption of cancer treatments.
About the Pediatric Dermatology Research Alliance (PeDRA)
Formed in 2012, PeDRA is a nonprofit research organization that includes more than 300 members and supports vibrant research and educational programs. PeDRA’s mission is to create, inspire, and sustain research to prevent, treat, and cure childhood skin disease. For more on PeDRA visit https://pedraresearch.org.
Boull CL, Gardeen S, Abdali T, et al. Cutaneous Reactions in Children Treated with MEK Inhibitors, BRAF Inhibitors, or Combination Therapy: A Multi-Center Study [published online ahead of print, 2020 Jul 16]. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2020;S0190-9622(20)32213-1. doi:10.1016/j.jaad.2020.07.044
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