Photosensitivity

Definition

Photosensitivity involves increased sensitivity of the skin to light.

Incidence

Photosensitivity is reported with some multikinase inhibitors, including vandetanib and imatinib, occurring at an incidence of 4% to 13%.1-4

Onset

Within 24 hours of sun exposure.

Resolution

Photosensitivity reactions of multikinase inhibitors, especially vandetanib, resolve rapidly (within 1 week) upon treatment discontinuation.5 Also see management of Photosensitivity and papilloma and squamous cell carcinoma page

Grading and Lesion Characteristics

According to the NCI-CTCAE V4.03, photosensitivity is defined as, “A disorder characterised by an increase in sensitivity of the skin to light”.

Grade 1 (mild) Photosensitivity

  • The NCI-CTCAE V4.03 definition of grade 1 photosensitivity reads: Painless erythema covering <10% BSA

Grade 2 (moderate) Photosensitivity

  • The NCI-CTCAE V4.03 definition of grade 2 photosensitivity reads: Tender Erythema covering 10 - 30% BSA

Grade 3 (severe) Photosensitivity

  • The NCI-CTCAE V4.03 definition of grade 3 photosensitivity reads: Erythema covering >30% BSA and erythema with blistering; photosensitivity; oral corticosteroid therapy indicated; pain control indicated (e.g., narcotics or NSAID)

Grade 4 (life-threatening) Photosensitivity

  • The NCI-CTCAE V4.03 definition of grade 4 photosensitivity reads: Life-threatening consequences; urgent intervention indicated

References

1European Medicines Agency. Caprelsa® (vandetanib) Summary of Product Characteristics 2014.
2Food and Drug Administration. Caprelsa® (vandetanib) Prescribing Information 2014.
3European Medicines Agency. Glivec® (imatinib) Summary of Product Characteristics 2014.
4Food and Drug Administration. Gleevec® (imatinib) Prescribing Information 2013.
5Giacchero D, et al. A new spectrum of skin toxic effects associated with the multikinase inhibitor vandetanib. Arch Dermatol. 2012;148:1418–1420.

Last update: 22 August 2014