Potential Treatment for Erbitux Rashes

Minocycline Capsule (50 mg)
Minocycline Capsule (50 mg). Photo by Drugs A-Z

Many colon cancer patients receive chemotherapy regimens that contain Erbitux (cetuximab). A common side effect of this drug is an acne-like skin rash that is uncomfortable for patients and can be severe enough to stop treatment. Fortunately, a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology identified a treatment for Erbitux rashes.

About the Study

Researchers gathered 48 people with metastatic colorectal cancer and divided them into two groups.

Members of the first group took oral Minocycline (an acne pill) each day and applied topical Tazarotene (an acne cream) to one side of their face. Members of the other group also took a pill each day and applied cream to one side of their face, but each was a placebo (non-medicated).

Results of the Study

The researchers determined that taking a Minocycline pill once a day for the first month of treatment with Erbitux is an effective way to prevent the rash from occurring. The acne cream tended to either be ineffective or make things worse.

How to Use the Information

If you're about to begin a chemo regimen that contains Erbitux, you may want to mention this study to your doctor and see if she thinks prescribing a Minocycline pill would be beneficial in your case.

Source: Scope, A. and Agero, A. "Randomized Double-Blind Trial of Prophylactic Oral Minocycline and Topical Tazarotene for Cetuximab-Associated Acne-Like Eruption." Journal of Clinical Oncology 25.34 (1 Dec. 2007): 5390-5396.

Minocycline Capsule (50 mg) Photo by Drugs A-Z

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