Low-Level Laser Therapy Ameliorates Radiation Dermatitis
Radiation dermatitis--also known as radiation burn--affects up to 95 percent of patients who undergo radiation therapy and can limit the radiation dose given.
No clear, standard treatment currently exists, but low-level laser therapy may provide an option.
Belgian researchers conducted a pilot trial known as the DERMIS trial in 79 patients with breast cancer. Patients received identical radiation therapy treatments, but while the control group received an institutional skin care protocol, the second group received the same protocol along with six sessions of LLLT.
Researchers found that the control group not only had higher skin toxicity after treatment (29% vs. 3%) but that Radiotherapy Induced Skin Reactions Assessment Scale scores increased steeply in this group. Patients' own assessment of pleasantness, soothing and global satisfaction with skin care/LLLT were also much higher in the laser therapy group.
Researchers are currently conducting a randomized controlled trial to validate these findings.
Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) ameliorated radiation dermatitis in a pilot trial conducted in 79 patients with breast cancer, known as the DERMIS trial.
LLLT is a noninvasive modality that involves the application of light to injuries and lesions and promotes wound healing, the investigators explain, and the pilot study showed that it had beneficial effects on radiation dermatitis, they add.
The group, headed by Jeroen Mebis, MD, from the Department of Medical Oncology at the Limburg Oncology Centre at Jessa Hospital in Hasselt, Belgium, is now conducting a randomized controlled trial to validate these findings.
This article excerpt, by Meg Barbor, originally appeared here: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/848171.
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