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Papers of the Week

2020 May 27

Photobiomodul Photomed Laser Surg

A Narrative Review on the Use of Photobiomodulation Therapy for the Prevention and Management of Acute Radiodermatitis: Proposed Mechanisms, Current Clinical Outcomes, and Preliminary Guidance for Clinical Studies.


A narrative review of the available scientific evidence to identify the current proposals relating the use of photobiomodulation (PBM) to treat acute radiodermatitis (ARD), to guide future research. A devastating side effect of radiotherapy (RT) is ARD, defined as an inflammatory skin reaction induced by RT. Currently, there is still no standard of care for ARD. PBM is a non-invasive light therapy that is a growing modality in the field of supportive cancer care. There is a need for identifying the therapeutic irradiation windows in this field, based on the available literature. An electronic search of original articles in the PubMed database was performed with the following keywords: "photobiomodulation therapy," "low-level light therapy," "low-level laser therapy," "acute radiodermatitis," and "radiotherapy" until December 2019. Randomized controlled trials, prospective non-randomized, case report, cohort, cross-over, and retrospective studies were selected for this review. Nine clinical trials that investigated the use of photobiomodulation therapy (PBMT) in ARD were available for evaluation. Results demonstrate that PBMT could significantly reduce the severity of ARD and the accompanying discomfort and pain in patients with cancer. Based on the available evidence of the narrative review, PBM might be an effective therapy for the prevention and management of ARD in patients with cancer. More research is needed to confirm this finding.