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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 214

of 'Systemic chemotherapy for metastatic colorectal cancer: Completed clinical trials'

Pruritus in patients treated with targeted cancer therapies: systematic review and meta-analysis.
Ensslin CJ, Rosen AC, Wu S, Lacouture ME
J Am Acad Dermatol. 2013;69(5):708. Epub 2013 Aug 24.
BACKGROUND: Pruritus has been anecdotally described in association with targeted cancer therapies. The risk of pruritus has not been systematically ascertained.
OBJECTIVE: A systematic review and meta-analysis of the literature was conducted for axitinib, cetuximab, dasatinib, erlotinib, everolimus, gefitinib, imatinib, ipilimumab, lapatinib, nilotinib, panitumumab, pazopanib, rituximab, sorafenib, temsirolimus, tositumomab, vandetanib, and vemurafenib.
METHODS: Databases from PubMed, Web of Science (January 1998 through July 2012), and American Society of Clinical Oncology abstracts (2004 through 2012) were searched. Incidence and relative risk of pruritus were calculated using random- or fixed-effects model.
RESULTS: The incidences of all-grade and high-grade pruritus were 17.4% (95% confidence interval 16.0%-19.0%) and 1.4% (95% confidence interval 1.2%-1.6%), respectively. There was an increased risk of all-grade pruritus (relative risk 2.90 [95% confidence interval 1.76-4.77, P<.001]) and variation among different drugs (P<.001).
LIMITATIONS: The reporting of pruritus may vary, resulting from concomitant medications, comorbidities, and underlying malignancies. We found a higher incidence of pruritus in patients with solid tumors, concordant with those targeted therapies with the highest pruritus incidences.
CONCLUSION: There is a significant risk of developing pruritus in patients receiving targeted therapies. To prevent suboptimal dosing and decreased quality of life, patients should be counseled and treated against this untoward symptom.
Dermatology Service, Department of Medicine, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York.