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Radiation Dermatitis

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Evidenced-Based Guidelines for the Prevention and Management of Radiation Dermatitis

What is radiation dermatitis?

Over 50% of patients with cancer should receive radiation therapy at some stage throughout the course of their disease. While high doses of radiation effectively treat patients with cancer with curative or palliative intent, collateral damage to nearby tissues is common, producing localised side-effects such as adverse skin reactions and organ damage, or general side-effects such as gastrointestinal symptoms, or cancer-related fatigue, culminating in reduced quality of life (QoL). Radiation dermatitis (RD) is the most common side-effect of radiation therapy.

Why is this guideline is necessary?

A literature review revealed a lack of standardised, evidencebased approach for the management of RD at present. Consequently, management of RD is inconsistent across radiation treatment centres. Recognising the need for clinical consistency and accuracy in treatment for RD, the International Society of Nurses in Cancer Care (ISNCC), in collaboration with an international and interdisciplinary group of experts in radiation oncology, develop evidence-based recommendations in a clinical guideline to inform the management of RD.

This project sought to:

    1. Provide an updated systematic review on the management of radiation-induced skin reactions (RISR), and
    2. Identify effective topical interventions in the management of RD. These recommendations target patients receiving radiation therapy who experience RD and are tailored towards practitioners in their clinical practice.

Who is the guideline intended for?

The recommendation in this guideline provide support to cancer practitioners in their clinical practice to facilitate better supportive cancer care for patients receiving radiation therapy.

The development of this guideline was made possible through an unrestricted grant from Stratpharma.

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