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Topical non-steroidal agents for the prevention of radiation dermatitis: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

PURPOSE: Radiation dermatitis (RD) is a common side effect of radiation therapy, affecting a majority of breast and head and neck cancer patients with a negative impact on quality of life. Currently, no consensus exists regarding the prevention of RD.

METHODS: PubMed, Embase and Cochrane databases (1946 to December 2022) were searched using PRISMA guidelines to identify randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that investigated the use of topical non-steroidal agents in the prevention of RD in patients undergoing radiotherapy.

RESULTS: A total of six RCTs were included, comprising 627 patients. Among the topical non-steroidal agents analyzed, only the use of Biafine® in breast cancer patients was significant in preventing grade 4 and 3 + RD as classified by the Radiation Therapy Oncology group (RTOG) scale (OR = 0.07, 95% CI 0.01-0.63, p = 0.02, and OR 0.11, 95% CI 0.03-0.41, p < 0.01, respectively). The remaining agents (trolamine alone and hyaluronic acid/hyaluronan) did not significantly prevent the occurrence of RD.

CONCLUSION: The results of this systematic review and meta-analysis indicate that Biafine® can prevent grade 3 + RD in breast cancer patients. The use of trolamine and hyaluronic acid does not significantly affect the incidence of RD.

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