Treatment for Hand-Foot Skin Reaction (HFSR) Caused by Anticancer Therapies


Summary of Invention

Multikinase inhibitor (MKI) therapies have become frontline anticancer treatments for kidney, liver, and thyroid cancers as well as other tumor types. These therapies, however, often cause a dermatological side effect, Hand-Foot Skin Reaction (HFSR), which develops in patients’ palms and soles and progresses rapidly from swelling and skin rash to blisters and ulcers. This painful condition significantly worsens patients’ quality of life and may lead to inconsistent administration or even discontinuation of MKI therapies, compromising clinical outcomes.

This invention offers optimized administration and continuous release of topical compositions that target the peripheral vasoconstriction caused by MKIs, typically resulting in HFSR. Initial results indicate that this invention is effective as either a treatment or a prophylactic, and it can be used before or during MKI anticancer therapies.   With patients who had already developed various degrees of MKI-induced HFSR, this invention effectively reduced HFSR symptoms from grades 2/3 (severe) to grade 1 (mild). When used prophylactically, it prevented patients on MKI therapies from developing HFSR.


  • More effective than conventional products, since it directly targets the pathogenic mechanism that produces HFSR, rather than only providing symptomatic  relief
  • Delivery system keeps medication on the affected site, protecting it from hand washing and sweating
  • All patients tested to date have been able to continue with MKI therapies, with no adverse effects associated with this invention

Market Opportunities

With a multi-billion dollar market for MKIs, including sorafenib, cabozantinib, regorafenib, sunitinib, axitinib, pazopanib, vandetanib, and ziv-aflibercept, a companion treatment that uniquely prevents or alleviates MKI-related HFSR should provide a significant competitive edge.

Areas of Application

Topical application and delivery system aimed at preventing and treating HFSR caused by MKI anticancer therapies

Stage of Development

Prototype successfully used on patients

Lead Investigator

Dr. Ghassan Abou-Alfa, MD, Associate Attending, Department of Medicine, Memorial Sloan Kettering

Patent Information

PCT application filed on March 24, 2014, PCT/US2014/031545; national applications pending in U.S. and Europe

Contact Information

Sue X. Yao, MBA, MPH, CFA
Senior Licensing Manager
Tel: 646-888-1081

Stage of Development