SCoR updates radiation dermatitis guidelines

Leaflets for patients and healthcare professionals also available

Published: 05 May 2020 Radiotherapy

The Society and College has published new skincare guidance for radiotherapy.

Endorsed by the research and care charity, Breast Cancer Now, the guidelines are based on expert consensus and review of the available evidence base and supports the need for further research into new products before they are recommended for radiotherapy skin care.

It is accompanied by two download-and-print A5 leaflets: one for patients and the other for radiotherapy healthcare professionals, as well as eight key principles of effective skin care management.

"Despite the publication of a number of best practice guidelines for skin care, radiotherapy departmental practice for the prevention and management of acute radiotherapy and skin toxicity has been slow to change," said Dr Rachel Harris, the SCoR professional and education manager and research lead.

"A wide range of methods and topical applications are used, often with very little or no evidence base. This review looked to new research evidence published since November 2014.

"Despite reviewing a significant amount of published evidence, still very few definitive recommendations can be made with respect to the optimal intervention for the management or prevention of radiation induced skin reactions," Rachel continued.

"As all therapeutic radiographers know, skin reactions from external beam radiotherapy are a common side effect of treatment and may cause distress to some patients; a skin reaction may also be a factor that can limit radiation dose and treatment schedules," she said.

"The SCoR and I thank everyone involved in the compilation of these guidelines, with special gratitude to Gemma Burke, Professor Heidi Probst, and Professor Sara Faithfull for their hard work and dedication to the systematic review.

"I also would like to acknowledge the support of the patient and public representatives who led the invaluable work on the patient information."

Radiation Dermatitis Guidelines for Radiotherapy Healthcare Professionals