Risk of fingerprint loss with capecitabine

Reuters Health Information: Risk of fingerprint loss with capecitabine

Risk of fingerprint loss with capecitabine

Last Updated: 2016-08-31

By Will Boggs MD

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Up to one in seven patients treated with capecitabine develop temporary fingerprint loss, researchers report.

"Physicians, not limited to oncologists, should be aware of fingerprint loss as a possible consequence of capecitabine treatment, even in absence of hand-foot syndrome," Leni van Doorn from Erasmus MC Cancer Institute, Rotterdam, The Netherlands told Reuters Health by email.

Capecitabine treatment results in hand-foot syndrome (HFS) in 50% to 60% of patients, and there have been scattered reports in the literature of loss of fingerprints in these patients.

Van Doorn and colleagues investigated fingerprint loss and its association with HFS or hand-foot skin reaction (HFSR) in a prospective study of 112 patients, including 66 who were treated with capecitabine and 46 who were treated with the tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) sorafenib, sunitinib, or pazopanib.

Within eight weeks of treatment, nine patients (14%) treated with capecitabine and one patient (2%) treated with sunitinib had developed severe quality loss of fingerprints, in the opinion of experts from the Netherlands National Police Agency.

HFS and HFSR developed in 46 patients (70%) treated with capecitabine and in 21 patients (46%) treated with TKIs. Neither HFS nor HFSR severity was associated with the incidence of severe fingerprint quality loss.

Severe fingerprint quality loss recovered completely within two to four weeks after discontinuation of treatment in all three patients who provided posttreatment fingerprints, according to the August 25th JAMA Oncology online report.

"Loss of fingerprints is not a painful side effect, but rather a troublesome unnoticed side effect for everyday life," van Doorn said.

"Capecitabine treated patients need to be informed about this side effect at the start of their treatment," she said. "Loss of fingerprints can have serious consequences in everyday life when personal identification is needed."

Capecitabine is approved in the U.S. to treat colorectal cancer and breast cancer; it's also used off-label to treat gastric cancer (a licensed indication in the UK) and esophageal cancer.

SOURCE: http://bit.ly/2bCnfNB

JAMA Oncol 2016.

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