Radiotherapy and wound healing: Principles, management and prospects (Review)
- Matthias Gieringer
- Jan Gosepath
- Ramin Naim
Published online on: Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Radiation therapy is a major therapeutic modality in the management of cancer patients. Over 60% of these patients receive radiotherapy at some point during their course of treatment and over 90% will develop skin reactions after therapy. Problematic wound healing in radiation-damaged tissue constitutes a major surgical difficulty and despite all efforts, irradiated skin remains a therapeutic challenge. This review provides an overview of the fundamental principles of radiation therapy with regards to the wound healing in normal and irradiated skin. Furthermore, it presents techniques that describe how to prevent and manage skin side effects as well as prospects that may improve cutaneous wound repair in general and in irradiated skin.