Placebo-controlled trial to determine the effectiveness of a urea/lactic acid-based topical keratolytic agent for prevention of capecitabine-induced hand-foot syndrome: North central cancer treatment group study N05C5

Sherry L. Wolf, Rui Qin, Smitha P. Menon, Kendrith M. Rowland, Sachdev Thomas, Robert Delaune, Diana Christian, Eduardo R. Pajon, Daniel V. Satele, Jeffrey L. Berenberg, Charles Lawrence Loprinzi

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37 Scopus citations


Purpose: Hand-foot syndrome (HFS) is a dose-limiting toxicity of capecitabine for which no effective preventative treatment has been definitively demonstrated. This trial was conducted on the basis of preliminary data that a urea/lactic acid-based topical keratolytic agent (ULABTKA) may prevent HFS. Patients and Methods: A randomized, double-blind phase III trial evaluated 137 patients receiving their first ever cycle of capecitabine at a dose of either 2,000 or 2,500 mg/m2 per day for 14 days. Patients were randomly assigned to a ULABTKA versus a placebo cream, which was applied to the hands and feet twice per day for 21 days after the start of capecitabine. Patients completed an HFS diary (HFSD) daily. HFS toxicity grade (Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events [CTCAE] v3.0) was also collected at baseline and at the end of each cycle. The primary end point was the incidence of moderate/severe HFS symptoms in the first treatment cycle, based on the patient-reported HFSD. Results: The percentage of patients with moderate/severe HFS symptoms was not different between groups, being 13.6% in the ULABTKA arm and 10.2% in the placebo arm (P = .768 by Fisher's exact test). The odds ratio was 1.37 (95% CI, 0.37 to 5.76). Cycle 1 CTCAE skin toxicity was higher in the ULABTKA arm but not significantly so (33% v 27%; P = .82). No significant differences were observed in other toxicities between groups. Conclusion: These data do not support the efficacy of a ULABTKA cream for preventing HFS symptoms in patients receiving capecitabine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5182-5187
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number35
StatePublished - Dec 10 2010


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

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