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Br J Radiol. 2002 May;75(893):467-9.

Complete healing of severe osteoradionecrosis with treatment combining pentoxifylline, tocopherol and clodronate.

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Service d'Oncologie-Radiothérapie, Hôpital Saint-Louis APHP, 1 Ave Claude Vellefaux, 75010 Paris, France.


Osteoradionecrosis (ORN) is a late terminal sequela of irradiation that does not resolve spontaneously. In a preliminary study, a combination of pentoxifylline (PTX), tocopherol (Vit-E) and clodonate has been shown to be of clinical benefit with more than 50% regression of progressive ORN observed at 6 months in 12 patients. A 68-year-old woman presenting with severe exteriorized osteoradionecrosis had received radiotherapy for breast cancer 29 years previously. She had palpable breast fibrosis, including the sternum (15 cm x 11 cm) and a painful fistulous track in the upper part of the bone (orifice diameter 10 mm) surrounded by local inflammatory signs, and chronic osteitis with sequestra extrusion. MRI showed deep radiation-induced fibrosis below this area without cancer recurrence, and complete bone destruction over an area of 7 cm x 4 cm. Oral PTX (800 mg day(-1)), Vit.E (1000 IU day(-1)) and clodronate (1600 mg day(-1)) were administered daily for 3 years and were well tolerated. The patient exhibited regular clinical improvement until complete closure of the fistula and total regression of the clinical fibrosis. MRI confirmed the good response and showed heterogeneous restoration of the sternum, which was filled with new tissue. This is the first time that antifibrotic treatment with combined PTX-Vit.E plus clodronate has been shown to have a significant effect on necrosis, by completely reversing severe progressive ORN and the associated radiation-induced fibrosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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