Chronic phototoxicity and aggressive squamous cell carcinoma of the skin in children and adults during treatment with voriconazole

Edward W. Cowen, Josephine C. Nguyen, Daniel D. Miller, Diana McShane, Sarah T. Arron, Neil S. Prose, Maria L. Turner, Lindy P. Fox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

164 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Voriconazole is a broad-spectrum antifungal agent associated with photosensitivity and accelerated photoaging. A possible link with aggressive squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) has also been reported. Objective: We sought to determine the incidence and frequency of cutaneous SCC among patients undergoing long-term treatment with voriconazole who also manifest features of chronic phototoxicity. Methods: We conducted a retrospective review of patients who developed one or more squamous cell neoplasms during long-term treatment with voriconazole at 3 academic dermatology centers. Results: A total of 51 cutaneous SCC were identified in 8 patients (median age 34.5 years, range 9-54) treated with chronic voriconazole (median duration 46.5 months, range 13-60). Underlying diagnoses included graft-versus-host disease, HIV, and Wegener granulomatosis. Signs of chronic phototoxicity and accelerated photoaging included erythema, actinic keratoses, and lentigo formation. Limitations: The retrospective nature of the study cannot determine the true population risk of SCC associated with voriconazole therapy. A prospective cohort study is needed. Conclusion: A high index of suspicion for photosensitivity and SCC may be warranted with chronic voriconazole use when used in the setting of concurrent immunosuppression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-37
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Volume62
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Supported in part by the Intramural Program of the National Institutes of Health, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute.

Keywords

  • fungal infection
  • immunosuppression
  • photoaging
  • photosensitivity
  • phototoxicity
  • squamous cell carcinoma
  • voriconazole

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