Topical DMSO treatment for pegylated liposomal doxorubicin-induced palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia

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102 Scopus citations


Purpose: Chemotherapeutic regimens that utilize fluorouracil, cytarabine, and doxorubicin have been shown to cause a dermatologic syndrome known as hand-foot syndrome, or palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia syndrome (PPES). Pegylated liposomal doxorubicin has proven effective in the treatment of AIDS-related Kaposi's sarcoma, ovarian cancer refractory to platinum and paclitaxel therapies, and metastatic breast cancer. In a study of the treatment of refractory epithelial cell ovarian cancers with lipozomal doxorubicin utilizing intravenous doses of 50 mg/m2 every 3 weeks, grade 3 PPES was observed in 29% of patients (10/35) and required dose reductions and/or dose delay after a median of three therapy cycles. Methods: Current methods to prevent pegylated liposomal doxorubicin-induced PPES include dose reduction, lengthening of the drug administration interval and ultimately, drug withdrawal. Topical 99% dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) also has shown strong activity in treating tissue extravasation reactions during intravenous administration of doxorubicin. Results: Two patients undergoing chemotherapy with pegylated liposomal doxorubicin, 50 mg/m2 every 4 weeks, developed grade 3 PPE after three cycles. Their PPES resolved over a period of 1 to 3 weeks while receiving topical 99% DMSO four times daily for 14 days. Conclusions: While these results are promising, patients must be treated in a prospective study of this topical DMSO formulation to definitively document its therapeutic efficacy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)303-306
Number of pages4
JournalCancer Chemotherapy And Pharmacology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1999


  • Chemotherapy
  • Dimethylsulfoxide
  • Palmar-plantar dysesthesia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Cancer Research
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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