Dermatitis is a very frequent and distressing side effect of radiation therapy that may necessitatea treatment interruption when evolving towards more severe forms such as moist desquamation(MD). The aim of this study was to compare the efficacy of two topical agents, a dexpanthenol cream vs a hydroactive colloid gel combining absorbing and moisturising properties, in preventing MD in breastcancer patients.
This retrospective study compared two successive groups of breast cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy after breast-sparing surgery between 2008 and 2012. A group of 267 patients applied a 5% dexpanthenol cream on the irradiated zone throughout the course of their radiotherapy. Another group of 216 patients applied first the dexpanthenol cream then replaced it by the hydroactive colloid gel after 11e14 days of radiotherapy. Radiation treatment (total dose, technique, and equipment) was the same for the two groups. The clinical outcomes were the occurrence and time to onset of moist desquamation.
The overall incidence of MD was significantly lower in patients who applied the hydroactive colloid gel (16%) than in those who applied the dexpanthenol cream (32%, odds-ratio ¼ 0.35). Also, MD occurred significantly later with the hydroactive colloid gel than with the dexpanthenol cream (hazard ratio ¼ 0.39).
Compared with the dexpanthenol cream, the hydroactive colloid gel significantly reduced the risk of developing MD in patients undergoing radiotherapy for breast cancer. These promising results warrant further research on the efficacy of hydroactive colloid gels in managing radiation dermatitis.