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Investigative Report

Pruritus in Patients Under Targeted Anticancer Therapy: A Multidimensional Analysis Using the 5-D Itch Scale

Soo Ick Cho, Jaewon Lee, Jin Lim, Jong Seo Park, Miso Kim, Tae-Yong Kim, Tae Min Kim, Kyung-Hun Lee, Bhumsuk Keam, Sae-Won Han, Seong Jin Jo
DOI: 10.2340/00015555-3129

Preview of fully accepted paper, still not published in any volume


Pruritus is a very common symptom in patients, undergoing targeted anticancer therapy. However, the characteristics of pruritus, according to the targeted anticancer agents, are still unclear. The objective of this study was to determine the characteristics of pruritus, induced by targeted anticancer agents, using a questionnaire-based survey. The survey was administered to cancer patients currently receiving anticancer agents. Medical records were also reviewed. A total of 374 cancer patients completed the survey, of which 108 were treated with the targeted therapy. A total of 205 patients had pruritus, of which 66 were under the targeted therapy. Epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitor (EGFRI) users showed the highest prevalence rate of itching and numeric rating scale score for itching. The 5-D itch score was also highest among users of EGFRIs. In conclusion, patients receiving EGFRIs suffer from severe pruritus frequently. They not only experienced long lasting and intense itching, causing sleep discomfort, but also developed itching at specific body sites.

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