Background: Women receiving radiation to the breast will likely be recommended to use a topical cream to minimize and delay the development of radiation dermatitis. Although many topical products are commercially available and have been tested for safety and efficacy, few studies have compared various products to one another for superiority and cost effectiveness.
Objectives: The purpose of this pilot study was to compare three commonly used skin care products prospectively to one other in a homogenously controlled group of women undergoing whole breast irradiation to assess superiority in minimizing the common toxicity criteria grade of radiation dermatitis, effect on quality of life, and cost.
Methods: The authors conducted a systematic review to determine the three types of skin care products with the strongest evidence of minimizing radiation dermatitis. Patients were voluntarily enrolled and randomized to one of three possible skin care topical regimens. Patients completed a quality-of-life survey to assess their preference in topical skin care regimen. The cost of each arm’s topical product was assessed at the completion of patient participation.
Findings: No statistical difference was noted in the severity or occurrence of radiation dermatitis among the groups. In addition, no statistical difference was found among the three treatment arms in quality-of-life score changes, and no patients required a treatment interruption in their radiation or in the skin care product during treatment. A cost difference among the treatment arms was noted.