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Radiation-induced skin reactions: mechanism and treatment

Authors Wei J, Meng L, Hou X, Qu C, Wang B, Xin Y, Jiang X

Received 25 September 2018

Accepted for publication 19 November 2018

Published 21 December 2018 Volume 2019:11 Pages 167—177

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CMAR.S188655

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Antonella D'Anneo


Jinlong Wei,1 Lingbin Meng,2 Xue Hou,1 Chao Qu,1 Bin Wang,1 Ying Xin,3 Xin Jiang1

1Department of Radiation Oncology, The First Hospital of Jilin University, Changchun 130021, China; 2Department of Internal Medicine, Florida Hospital, Orlando, FL 32803, USA; 3Key Laboratory of Pathobiology, Ministry of Education, Jilin University, Changchun 130021, China

Abstract: Radiotherapy (RT) is a major treatment for malignant tumors. The latest data show that >70% of patients with malignant tumors need RT at different periods. Skin changes can be experienced by up to 95% of patients who underwent RT. Inflammation and oxidative stress (OS) have been shown to be generally associated with radiation-induced skin reactions (RISRs). Inflammatory response and OS interact and promote each other during RISRs. Severe skin reactions often have a great impact on the progress of RT. The treatment of RISRs is particularly critical because advanced RT technology can also lead to skin reactions. RISRs are classified into acute and chronic reactions. The treatment methods for acute RISRs include steroid treatment, creams, ointments, and hydrocolloid dressings, depending on the reaction grading. Chronic RISRs includes chronic ulcerations, telangiectasias, and fibrosis of the skin, and advanced ­treatments such as mesenchymal stem cells, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, superoxide dismutase, and low-intensity laser therapy can be considered. Here, we review and summarize the ­important mechanisms that cause RISRs as well as the standard and advanced treatments for RISRs.

Keywords: radiation-induced skin reactions, inflammatory response, oxidative stress, treatment

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