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Radiat Oncol. 2013 Mar 12;8:57. doi: 10.1186/1748-717X-8-57.

Preventing the acute skin side effects in patients treated with radiotherapy for breast cancer: the use of corneometry in order to evaluate the protective effect of moisturizing creams.

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Dipartimento Assistenziale di Radiologia, Radioterapia, Medicina Nucleare -Seconda Università di Napoli, Napoli, Italy.



The purpose of this study was to add, to the objective evaluation, an instrumental assessment of the skin damage induced by radiation therapy.


A group of 100 patients affected by breast cancer was recruited in the study over one year. Patients were divided into five groups of 20 patients. For each group it was prescribed a different topical treatment. The following products were used: Betaglucan, sodium hyaluronate (Neoviderm®), Vitis vinifera A. s-I-M.t-O.dij (Ixoderm®), Alga Atlantica plus Ethylbisiminomethylguaicolo and Manganese Cloruro (Radioskin1®) and Metal Esculetina plus Ginko Biloba and Aloe vera (Radioskin 2®); Natural triglycerides-fitosterols (Xderit®); Selectiose plus thermal water of Avene (Trixera+®). All hydrating creams were applied twice a day starting 15 days before and one month after treatment with radiations. Before and during treatment patients underwent weekly skin assessments and corneometry to evaluate the symptoms related to skin toxicity and state of hydration. Evaluation of acute cutaneous toxicity was defined according to the RTOG scale.


All patients completed radiotherapy; 72% of patients presented a G1 cutaneous toxicity, 18% developed a G2 cutaneous toxicity, 10% developed a G3 toxicity, no one presented G4 toxicity. The corneometry study confirmed the protective role of effective creams used in radiation therapy of breast cancer and showed its usefulness to identify radiation-induced dermatitis in a very early stage.


The preventive use of topic products reduces the incidence of skin side effects in patients treated with radiotherapy for breast cancer. An instrumental evaluation of skin hydration can help the radiation oncologist to use strategies that prevent the onset of toxicity of high degree. All moisturizing creams used in this study were equally valid in the treatment of skin damage induced by radiotherapy.

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