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Prevention and treatment of acute and chronic radiodermatitis

Authors Seité S, Bensadoun RJ, Mazer JM

Received 23 August 2017

Accepted for publication 29 September 2017

Published 2 November 2017 Volume 2017:9 Pages 551—557

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/BCTT.S149752

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Pranela Rameshwar

Sophie Seité,1 René-Jean Bensadoun,2 Jean-Michel Mazer3

1La Roche-Posay Laboratoire Dermatologique, Levallois-Perret, 2Centre de Haute Energie (CHE), Nice, 3Centre Laser International de la Peau, Paris, France

Abstract: More than half the number of patients with cancer, who are treated with radiotherapy, will have radiodermatitis at some point during their treatment. Radiodermatitis either occurs early on in the treatment period or appears months or up to several years later. Acute radiodermatitis is a burn injury that varies in severity according to both treatment and inherent patient factors. Most acute radiodermatitis reactions resolve after several weeks but some reactions persist and can cause complications. Late-onset radiodermatitis is characterized by telangiectasia that forms on atrophic and fragile skin. These radiodermatitis reactions can have a significant negative impact on concomitant and subsequent therapeutic protocols and most particularly on the patient’s quality of life. Today, treatment of radiodermatitis reactions is in its infancy. Although there is insufficient evidence available to form recommendations that would prevent or reduce radiodermatitis, some advances have been made using low level light therapy (LLLT) or vascular lasers to control the symptoms. Some recent preclinical and clinical research suggests that LLLT has biostimulating properties which allow the tissues to regenerate and heal faster, reduce inflammation, and prevent fibrosis. Also, in late-onset radiodermatitis pulsed dye laser treatment has been shown to be beneficial in clearing radiation-induced telangiectasia. In the absence of evidence-based recommendations, the objective of this paper is to review how to prevent or manage the symptoms of radiodermatitis reactions.

Keywords: acute radiodermatitis, chronic radiodermatitis, low level light therapy, laser, pulsed dye, prevention, management, skin care

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