Radiation-induced skin changes after breast or chest wall irradiation in patients with breast cancer and skin of color: a systematic review
INTRODUCTION/BACKGROUND:The purpose of this study is to systematically review data pertaining to breast cancer and radiation-induced skin reactions in patients with skin of color (SOC), as well as data pertaining to objective measurements of skin pigmentation in the assessment of radiation dermatitis (RD). METHODS AND MATERIALS/METHODS:We conducted a systematic review utilizing MEDLINE electronic databases to identify published studies until August 2022. Key inclusion criteria included studies that described RD in breast cancer with data pertaining to skin of color and/or characterization of pigmentation changes after radiation. RESULTS:We identified 17 prospective cohort studies, 7 cross-sectional studies, 5 retrospective studies and 4 randomized controlled trials. Prospective cohort and retrospective series demonstrate worse RD in African American (AA) patients using subjective physician-graded scales. There is more limited data in patients representing other non-White racial subgroups with SOC. 2 studies utilize patient reported outcomes and 15 studies utilize objective methods to characterize pigmentation change after radiation. There are no prospective and randomizedÂ studies that objectively describe pigmentation changes with radiotherapy in SOC. CONCLUSIONS:AA patients appear to have worse RD outcomes, though this is not uniformly observed across all studies. There are no studies that describe objective measures of RD and include baseline skin pigmentation as a variable, limiting the ability to draw uniform conclusions on the rate and impact of RD in SOC. We highlight the importance of objectively characterizing SOC and pigmentation changes before, during and after radiotherapy to understand the incidence and severity of RD in SOC.
Risk of Radiation Dermatitis in Patients with Skin of Color Who Undergo Radiation to the Breast or Chest Wall Irradiation and Regional Nodes [Meeting Abstract]
Purpose/Objective(s): Radiation dermatitis (RD) is common after RT for breast cancer with data indicating potentially worse RD in African American (AA) patients (pts). Current measures of RD, such as the CTCAE, do not include hyperpigmentation, which may disproportionately affect how RD is classified and treated in pts with skin of color (SOC). We aim to characterize RD in SOC and identify factors, including baseline skin pigmentation (BSP) that predict RD. Materials/Methods: Pts treated with whole breast (WB) or chest wall (CW) with regional nodal RT or high tangents with 50 Gy in 25 fractions from 2015-2018 were identified. Three dermatologists independently classified BSP using photographs from CT simulation based on the Fitzpatrick scale ([FS], range=I-VI; I=light/pale white to VI=black/ very dark brown). SOC was defined as FS IV-VI. Pt characteristics were investigated for association with interventions to treat RD, clinician-graded acute RD, and late skin toxicity (NCI CTCAE scale) with Chi-squared and logistic regression analyses.
Result(s): 325 pts met eligibility criteria (58 African American [AA], 42 Asian, 151 Caucasian, 77 other). 40% (n=129) had SOC, 60% underwent CW RT, 40% WB RT and 82% had systemic therapy. Pts with SOC were more likely to be Hispanic (14% vs 8% p=0.007), AA (43% vs 1%, p<0.001) and have greater mean BMI (28.0 vs 26.5, p=0.02). Acute grade 2/3 RD was lower in SOC (FS I 60%, FS II 63%, FS III 52%, FS IV 64%, FS V 40%, FS VI 41%; p=0.049). Increased BSP (OR 0.83; p=0.01) and AA pts (OR: 0.22; p<0.001) had lower odds of acute grade 2/3 RD, whereas bolus and dosimetric parameters such as increased PTV volume had increased odds. On multivariable analysis (MVA), AA pts and bolus remained significant (OR: 0.14, p=0.01; OR: 6.63 p<0.001, respectively). Topical steroid use to treat RD was less frequent and oral analgesic use was more frequent in SOC (43% vs 63%, p<0.001; 50% vs 38%, p=0.05, respectively). Pts with increased BSP (OR 0.73, p<0.001), AA race (OR 0.19, p<0.001) and greater BMI had lower use of topical interventions whereas any boost phase, bolus, IMN RT and increased PTV volume had greater use. On MVA, AA pts (OR 0.27, p=0.04), boost (OR 2.04, p=0.033), IMN RT (OR 2.73, p=0.003) and PTV V105% (OR=1.002, p=0.03) retained significance. Late grade 2/3 hyperpigmentation was greater in SOC (16% vs 3%, p=0.01). Increased BSP (OR 2.14, p=0.001), AA pts (OR 8.18, p=0.02), bolus and CW boost had greater odds of grade 2/3 hyperpigmentation. On MVA, increased BSP (OR: 3.76, p=0.03) and bolus (OR: 14.1, p=0.01) retained significance.
Conclusion(s): We found less clinician-graded acute RD in SOC and AA pts, less frequent use of topical interventions but more oral analgesic use. We also found higher rates of late pigmentation change with increased BSP independent of race. These findings suggest that RD may be under-diagnosed in SOC. This study confirms the necessity for objective measures of RD that account for variability in BSP to accurately classify the severity of radiation skin toxicity in SOC and treat accordingly.
Assessing the use of methotrexate as an alternate therapy for pemphigus vulgaris and pemphigus foliaceus
Methotrexate is historically recognized as an effective treatment of pemphigus but its utility as a single or alternate steroid-sparing agent was not recognized in recent consensus recommendations in pemphigus management. We aimed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of a treatment course for pemphigus that involves methotrexate as a single or steroid-sparing agent. In a retrospective cohort study, we examined patients with pemphigus vulgaris or pemphigus foliaceus who were on â‰¥3â€‰months of methotrexate therapy. Efficacy and safety were evaluated by established pemphigus disease endpoints. Of the 34 patients who met inclusion criteria, 25 (73.5%) were on glucocorticoids at time of methotrexate initiation (median follow-up: 5.4â€‰years; median time on methotrexate: 3.7â€‰years). An appreciable proportion achieved disease control (91.2%), with some achieving clinical remission off all systemic therapies (23.5%). For patients on glucocorticoids, median time to control was 42â€‰days, median time to minimal steroid dose tapering (5Â mg prednisone) was 161â€‰days, and median time to complete steroid tapering was 308â€‰days. For patients on methotrexate as a single agent, median time to control was 119â€‰days. Among all patients, relapse commonly occurred (88.2%). At last follow-up, 26.5% were managed on topical therapies alone and 11.8% required systemic steroid therapy. Methotrexate was largely tolerated with a low incidence of adverse events leading to treatment discontinuation (2.9%). Methotrexate has the potential to be an effective and well-tolerated option for patients and may be considered for use as an alternate single or steroid-sparing agent for pemphigus.