Paclitaxel-related nail toxicity

Taiwan J Obstet Gynecol. 2019 Sep;58(5):709-711. doi: 10.1016/j.tjog.2019.07.023.


Objective: Nail change after chemotherapy is relatively unfamiliar with gynecological oncologist. It often occurs after docetaxel treatment. For gynecological tract cancers, paclitaxel might be most frequently used but nail change after paclitaxel treatment is seldom reported before.

Case report: Two patients treated with the postoperative dose-dense weekly schedule of paclitaxel 80 mg/m2 plus cisplatin 20 mg/m2 every three weeks were complicated with nail problems during the treatment. They included onycholysis, subungual hemorrhage, proximal white subungual collections of pus obscuring the lunula (onychophosis), dystrophy, Beau's lines, pigmentation, and melanonychia. Topical use of anti-fugal cream and oral antibiotics stopped the nail disease progression and both patients had completed their chemotherapy without interruption.

Conclusion: Clinicians should be aware of paclitaxel-induced nail toxicities. Adequate information, detailed preventive intervention, and early use of prophylactic and/or therapeutic agents to minimize the occurrence of severe morbidity, such as cellulitis and subsequent sepsis is important for women who need the continuous dose-dense paclitaxel chemotherapy.

Keywords: Dermatological problems; Dose-dense chemotherapy; Nail; Paclitaxel.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / adverse effects*
  • Carcinoma / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Nail Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Paclitaxel / adverse effects*


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Paclitaxel