Publication – Epub 2019 Dec.


Andrea Diociaiuti, Holger Steinke, Alexander Nyström, Agnes Schwieger-Briel, Frank Meiss, Christina Pfannenberg, Leena Bruckner-Tuderman, Juri Ruf, Rita De Vito, May El Hachem, Dimitra Kiritsi


Abstract Dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (DEB) is a hereditary skin fragility disorder, characterized by trauma-induced blistering followed by soft tissue fibrosis. One of the most feared complications is the early development of aggressive cutaneous squamous cell carcinomas (SCC). For patients with locally advanced or metastasized SCCs treatment with cetuximab, a monoclonal antibody against epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), has been proposed and so far, treatment of five DEB patients with cetuximab has been published. With this report, we extend the spectrum of EB patients treated with cetuximab by adding two additional patients. Taking together all DEB cases treated with cetuximab, we propose that cetuximab should be administered as early as possible, since it seems to be more efficient and is accompanied by rather mild adverse effects. We also show that EGFR is frequently expressed in DEB-associated SCCs, although there were noticeable differences in the level of expression, which may influence responsiveness to EGFR-targeting therapies. Although only limited experiences with targeted cancer treatments in EB exist, such reports highlight the treatments’ effects in this specific cohort and assist our therapeutic decisions.