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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 58  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 69-75

Effect of corticosteroid ointment on radiation induced dermatitis in head and neck cancer patients: A prospective study

Department of Radiation Oncology, Dr. B Borooah Cancer Institute, Gopinath Nagar, Guwahati, Assam, India

Correspondence Address:
Shashank Bansal
Department of Radiation Oncology, Dr. B Borooah Cancer Institute, Gopinath Nagar, Guwahati, Assam
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijc.IJC_790_18

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Background: Almost all the patients receiving curative radiotherapy for head and neck cancer develop radiation dermatitis, which many a times leads to treatment interruption and reduce patient compliance. In this study, we evaluated the effect of potent topical steroid (Betamethasone Valerate 0.1%) cream on acute radiation dermatitis in head and neck cancer patients receiving curative radiotherapy. Methods: A total 106 patients of head and neck cancers were randomly divided into arm A (52 patients) and arm B (54 patients). The patient in study arm A were treated with topical betamethasone 0.1% twice daily during radiotherapy/chemo-radiotherapy and arm B was kept as control. The radiation reaction in both the groups was monitored weekly according to Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) acute radiation dermatitis grading. Results: Out of 106 patients, 85 (80.2%) patients completed treatment. Patient in control arm had earlier onset of grade 1 reaction (5.7% in arm A vs 16.7 % in arm B at 2nd week, P value 0.157 and 28.8% in arm A vs 50% in arm B at 3rd week, P value 0.028) and progression of radiation dermatitis. In 7th week patient in arm A had higher grade 1 reaction (17.3% in arm A vs 0% in arm B), while arm B had higher grade 2 reaction (66.7% arm B vs 55.8% in arm A). There was no difference in incidence of grade 3 and 4 reaction. No difference was observed in time taken for reaction to heal. Conclusion: Topical Betamethasone can delay the onset and progression of radiation dermatitis in head and neck cancer, without significant delay in wound healing.


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