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Papers of the Week

2019 Oct

Ann Plast Surg


4S Suppl 1

Radiation-Induced Skin Fibrosis: Pathogenesis, Current Treatment Options, and Emerging Therapeutics.


Borrelli MR, Shen AH, Lee GK, Momeni A, Longaker MT, Wan DC
Ann Plast Surg. 2019 Oct; 83(4S Suppl 1):S59-S64.
PMID: 31513068.


Radiotherapy (RT) has become an indispensable part of oncologic treatment protocols for a range of malignancies. However, a serious adverse effect of RT is radiodermatitis; almost 95% of patients develop moderate to severe skin reactions following radiation treatment. In the acute setting, these can be erythema, desquamation, ulceration, and pain. Chronically, soft tissue atrophy, alopecia, and stiffness can be noted. Radiodermatitis can delay oncologic treatment protocols and significantly impair quality of life. There is currently a paucity of effective treatment options and prevention strategies for radiodermatitis. Importantly, recent preclinical and clinical studies have suggested that fat grafting may be of therapeutic benefit, reversing detrimental changes to soft tissue following RT. This review outlines the damaging effects of RT on the skin and soft tissue as well as discusses available treatment options for radiodermatitis. Emerging strategies to mitigate detrimental, chronic radiation-induced changes are also presented.