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2017 ASCO Annual Meeting!

Session: Patient and Survivor Care

Type: Poster Session

Time: Saturday June 3, 1:15 PM to 4:45 PM

Location: Hall A

A double blind, randomised placebo controlled trial evaluating the effect of a pholyphenolic rich plant based nail bed balm on the severity of chemotherapy-induced onycholysis.

Symptom Management/Supportive Care/Palliative Care

Patient and Survivor Care

2017 ASCO Annual Meeting

Abstract No:

Poster Board Number:
Poster Session (Board #92)

J Clin Oncol 35, 2017 (suppl; abstr 10103)

Author(s): Robert J. Thomas, Madeleine M A Williams, Masoom Mutilib, Saul Berkovitz, Fawzi Attia, Michael Cauchi, Sarah Smith; Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, United Kingdom; Bedford Hospital, Bedford, United Kingdom; The Royal London Hospital for Integrative Medicine, London, United Kingdom; The Primrose Research Unit, Bedford, United Kingdom

Abstract Disclosures


Background: Nail damage is common amongst patients receiving chemotherapy, especially taxanes, causing pain, distress, disfigurement, infection and restricted daily activities. Cooling the nail beds helps but there has been no published evidence for the effectiveness of nail balms, despite their popular use. We investigated whether a topical nail bed balm containing bioactive polyphenolic rich African salvia officinalis, gaultheria procumbens in a natural base of olea europaea, butyrospermun parkii, cera alba and theobroma cacao protected the nail beds via their reported anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-oxidant and anti-microbial properties. Methods: 60 patients (23 male, 37 female) were randomized to apply to their nail bed (tds) the natural balm or a petroleum balm suitably scented for a placebo control. Demographics, type and number of chemotherapy cycles did not differ between the two groups, recruited between Sept 2016-Sept 2017. At baseline and at the end of chemotherapy both patients and physicians measured outcomes of nail health. Patients completed a Dermatology Life Quality questionnaire and a linear severity scale; physician completed a Nail Psoriasis Index (NPSI) and a linear severity scale based on clinical examination and photographs. Differences were analyzed using an unpaired t-test; significance level α = 0.05 at 95% confidence intervals (CI); probability (p). Results: The mean change in nail health outcomes over the course of chemotherapy were: (see table). Conclusions: The polyphenolics rich essential oils and plant-based waxes in this nail bed balm profoundly reduced chemotherapy related nail damage and improved nail related quality of life compared to a plain petroleum based balm. A future evaluation combining nail bed cooling and this natural balm is planned. Clinical trial information: 015-001866-24.

Nail Health OutcomeNatural balmPlaceboDifferenceCIP value
Dermatology Life
Quality (Patient)
-0.034-6.16.0624.17 - 7.95P<0.00001
Linear Severity
Scale (Patient)
+2.63-64.166.7252.97 - 80.47P<0.00001
NSPI (Physician)0.0-5.715.714.29 - 7.12P<0.00001
Linear Severity Scale
-5.79-66.160.345.29 - 75.32P<0.00001

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