EVITA-a double-blind, vehicle-controlled, randomized phase II trial of vitamin K1 cream as prophylaxis for cetuximab-induced skin toxicity

Ralf Dieter Hofheinz, S. Lorenzen, J. Trojan, J. Ocvirk, T. J. Ettrich, S. E. Al-Batran, H. Schulz, N. Homann, H. P. Feustel, M. Schatz, M. Kripp, N. Schulte, M. Tetyusheva, S. Heeger, S. Vlassak, K. Merx

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Background: Acne-like skin rash is a frequently occurring adverse event associated with drugs against the epidermal growth factor receptor. This randomized vehicle-controlled study investigated the addition of vitamin K1 cream to doxycycline in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer treated with cetuximab. Patients and methods: Patients receiving first-line cetuximab + FOLFIRI were randomly assigned to prophylactic treatment with doxycylin and vitamin K1 cream or doxycycline and the vehicle. The primary end point of the study was the incidence of grade≥2 skin rash (NCI CTCAE version 4.02) during 8 weeks of skin treatment. Secondary end points comprised skin rash according to a more thorough tripartite skin toxicity score (WoMo), quality of life, efficacy, and compliance. The study had 80% power to show a 20% reduction of the incidence of grade≥2 skin rash. Results: A total of 126 patients were analyzed. The incidence of skin rash grade≥2 was comparable between the arms. Likewise, no difference was seen in the WoMo score with respect to the percentage of skin affected. However, starting in week 5 and increasing over time patients treated with vitamin K1 cream had less severe rash and fewer fissures. Quality of life as well as efficacy and compliance with study medication and anticancer treatment was comparable in both arms. Conclusion: The primary end point of decreasing grade≥2 skin rash was not met. However, using vitamin K1 cream as part of prophylactic treatment decreased the severity of acne-like skin rash according to WoMo, an alternative and more thorough skin toxicity scoring tool.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1010-1015
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Oncology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Acne-like skin rash
  • Cetuximab
  • Colorectal cancer
  • EGFR inhibitor
  • Skin toxicity
  • Vitamin K1 cream


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