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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 47-48

Atypical herpes zoster reactivation in an elderly gentleman with advanced oral cancer

1 Department of Radiotherapy, King George’s Medical University, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
2 Department of Radiation Oncology, Super Speciality Cancer Institute and Hospital, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Deep Chakrabarti
Department of Radiotherapy, King George’s Medical University, Shah Mina Road, Lucknow 226003, Uttar Pradesh.
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/bjoc.bjoc_15_21

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Background: Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) causes varicella in children and reactivation zoster in adults. A 79-year-old gentleman with an old history of varicella infection receiving methotrexate for advanced tongue cancer presented with multiple vesiculo-papular lesions in axillae and chest wall. The lesions were multidermatomal in distribution, painless, indurated, and nontender. A Tzanck smear confirmed the diagnosis of herpes zoster. His lesions resolved on antiviral therapy. Dermatologic side effects of methotrexate are otherwise rare and occur in 1%–10% of patients. Nevertheless, advanced cancer or cancer chemotherapy may cause immunosuppression leading to reactivation of VZV in some patients.

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