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12.12.2016 | Review Article | Ausgabe 3/2017

Supportive Care in Cancer 3/2017

Topical interventions to prevent acute radiation dermatitis in head and neck cancer patients: a systematic review

Supportive Care in Cancer > Ausgabe 3/2017
Elaine Barros Ferreira, Christiane Inocêncio Vasques, Rafael Gadia, Raymond Javan Chan, Eliete Neves Silva Guerra, Luis André Mezzomo, Graziela De Luca Canto, Paula Elaine Diniz dos Reis
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Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1007/​s00520-016-3521-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.



The purpose of the study is to evaluate the effects of pharmacological and non-pharmacological topical controls in the prevention of radiation dermatitis.


Relevant clinical trials were identified through electronic searching databases CINAHL, CENTRAL, LILACS, PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science. Handsearching and gray literature searches were also performed to find additional references. Primary outcomes of interest were the development of radiation dermatitis and the time of occurrence of radiation dermatitis.


Thirteen randomized clinical trials were included in this review. The trials were published in Chinese, English, or French, from 1980 to 2015. Pharmacological interventions used in the trials were trolamine, aloe vera, allantoin, Lianbai liquid, sucralfate, Na-sucrose octasulfate, olive oil, hialuronic acid, and dexpanthenol. Non-pharmacological topical controls were usual care/institution routine, aqueous cream, mild soap, water thermal gel, placebo, and no intervention.


There was no strong evidence that indicates differences between topical pharmacological interventions or non-pharmacological topical controls in the prevention of acute radiation dermatitis among patients with head and neck cancer undergoing radiotherapy.

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