Skin reactions during radiation therapy preventable

February 12, 2014

Severe skin reactions during radiation therapy could be prevented by applying a thin transparent silicone dressing to the skin from the first day of treatment, clinical research from New Zealand shows.

Although many skincare products have been tested in clinical trials over the years, until now none have been able to completely prevent severe skin reactions, says senior lecturer Dr Patries Herst of University of Otago Wellington's Department of Radiation Therapy.

Dr Herst and her team of radiation therapists, oncology nurses and medical physicists have completed five randomised controlled in public hospitals in Dunedin, Wellington, Palmerston North and Auckland Radiation Oncology over the past five years, all focusing on side effects caused by .

Their most recent trial was a close collaboration with Dunedin Hospital, and demonstrated it is possible to prevent from developing in undergoing radiation therapy.

Skin reactions are common in these patients, ranging from mild redness to ulceration with symptoms of pain, burning and itchiness, Dr Herst says.

"This can impact negatively on day-to-day life for patients who already have to cope with being diagnosed with and treated for cancer."

She is delighted with the results, and identification of a product that really works.

"This is fantastic news for cancer patients and it has put New Zealand firmly on the world map as a leader in into radiation-induced acute side effects."

The dressings work by adhering closely to the small folds in the skin without the use of adhesives, so do not stick to open wounds. By protecting the radiation-damaged skin from friction against items of clothing or other parts of the body, they allow the stem cells of the skin to heal from the radiation damage in an undisturbed environment. The dressings are also free of chemicals that could react with the skin.

Dr Herst is currently setting up a trial that will test the dressings in head and neck .

The results have been published online in the international journal Radiotherapy and Oncology.

Explore further: Silicone dressings reduce painful skin reactions following radiation for breast cancer, study finds

Related Stories

Silicone dressings reduce painful skin reactions following radiation for breast cancer, study finds

November 1, 2012
(Medical Xpress)—Skin reactions following radiation therapy for breast cancer have been the focus of a recent clinical trial conducted by Dr Patries Herst from the Department of Radiation Therapy, University of Otago, Wellington ...

Vitamin C may enhance radiation therapy for aggressive brain tumors

February 17, 2012
Recent research by the University of Otago, Wellington has shown that giving brain cancer cells high dose vitamin C makes them much more susceptible to radiation therapy.

Cancer pain could be reduced with fewer radiation treatments

June 4, 2013
New results from the NCIC Clinical Trials Group (CTG) at Queen's University have shown that fewer radiation treatments can help relieve pain caused by the spread of cancer to bones. Specifically, the research shows patients ...

Radiation therapy to treat uterine cancer linked with increased risk of bladder cancer later in life

December 17, 2013
Radiation therapy used to treat uterine cancer may increase a patient's risk of developing bladder cancer. That is the conclusion of a recent study published in BJU International. The findings indicate the importance of monitoring ...

Proton therapy cuts side effects for pediatric head and neck cancer patients

September 24, 2013
The precise targeting and limited dosing of radiation via proton therapy is proving to be an advantage in ongoing efforts to reduce treatment side effects among head and neck cancer patients, according to a new study of pediatric ...

Cancer drug Xeloda linked to severe skin reactions, official reports

December 5, 2013
A drug used to treat advanced breast and colorectal cancers has been linked to sometimes fatal skin reactions in patients, its Swiss manufacturer and Canadian health officials said Wednesday.

Recommended for you

Shooting the achilles heel of nervous system cancers

July 20, 2017
Virtually all cancer treatments used today also damage normal cells, causing the toxic side effects associated with cancer treatment. A cooperative research team led by researchers at Dartmouth's Norris Cotton Cancer Center ...

Molecular changes with age in normal breast tissue are linked to cancer-related changes

July 20, 2017
Several known factors are associated with a higher risk of breast cancer including increasing age, being overweight after menopause, alcohol intake, and family history. However, the underlying biologic mechanisms through ...

Immune-cell numbers predict response to combination immunotherapy in melanoma

July 20, 2017
Whether a melanoma patient will better respond to a single immunotherapy drug or two in combination depends on the abundance of certain white blood cells within their tumors, according to a new study conducted by UC San Francisco ...

Discovery could lead to better results for patients undergoing radiation

July 19, 2017
More than half of cancer patients undergo radiotherapy, in which high doses of radiation are aimed at diseased tissue to kill cancer cells. But due to a phenomenon known as radiation-induced bystander effect (RIBE), in which ...

Definitive genomic study reveals alterations driving most medulloblastoma brain tumors

July 19, 2017
The most comprehensive analysis yet of medulloblastoma has identified genomic changes responsible for more than 75 percent of the brain tumors, including two new suspected cancer genes that were found exclusively in the least ...

Novel CRISPR-Cas9 screening enables discovery of new targets to aid cancer immunotherapy

July 19, 2017
A novel screening method developed by a team at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center—using CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing technology to test the function of thousands of tumor genes in mice—has ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.