Two cases of psoriasis responding to erlotinib: time to revisiting inhibition of epidermal growth factor receptor in psoriasis therapy?

Dermatology. 2012;225(2):179-82. doi: 10.1159/000342786. Epub 2012 Oct 20.


Erlotinib inhibits the tyrosine kinase of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and is successfully used in lung cancer treatment. EGFR is essential in skin development and function and may have a role in the pathogenesis of psoriasis. Cutaneous side effects are very common in patients treated with erlotinib, and therapeutic use of erlotinib in dermatological disorders has therefore not been considered. We report two cases of patients with lung cancer and concomitant psoriasis treated with erlotinib with complete resolution of the skin problems. We present a review of the current literature on the topic.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / drug therapy*
  • ErbB Receptors / therapeutic use*
  • Erlotinib Hydrochloride
  • Humans
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / therapeutic use
  • Psoriasis / drug therapy*
  • Quinazolines / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors
  • Quinazolines
  • Erlotinib Hydrochloride
  • ErbB Receptors
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases