A successful approach to overcome imatinib-induced skin toxicity in a GIST patient

Anticancer Drugs. 2016 Jul;27(6):576-9. doi: 10.1097/CAD.0000000000000359.


Since the introduction of tyrosine kinase inhibitors in gastrointestinal stromal tumor patients, the median survival of patients has increased from less than 1 to more than 5 years. The chronic use of a tyrosine kinase inhibitor has an impact on quality of life because of its toxicity. Adequate supportive therapy is therefore important. We describe a female patient with a metastatic gastrointestinal stromal tumor. During treatment with the c-KIT inhibitor imatinib, she developed severe therapy-limiting skin toxicity. After several different supportive attempts, the combination of doxycycline and clemastine proved to be the solution, enabling successful chronic treatment with imatinib. Chronic use of doxycycline and clemastine is useful in the management of skin toxicity caused by c-KIT inhibitors, enabling the needed long-term use of these kind of anticancer drugs without hampering the quality of life.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Clemastine / therapeutic use
  • Doxycycline / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors / drug therapy*
  • Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors / pathology
  • Humans
  • Imatinib Mesylate / adverse effects*
  • Imatinib Mesylate / therapeutic use
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors / adverse effects
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Skin Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Skin Diseases / drug therapy*


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors
  • Imatinib Mesylate
  • Clemastine
  • Doxycycline