Mepitel Film is superior to Biafine cream in managing acute radiation-induced skin reactions in head and neck cancer patients: a randomised intra-patient controlled clinical trial

Head and Neck Cancer
01/06/2020

Yan J, et al. J Med Radiat Sci 2020.

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: We previously showed that Mepitel Film decreased the severity of acute radiation-induced skin reactions in head and neck cancer patients. In the current study, we compared the effect of Mepitel Film and Biafine cream on skin reaction severity in a larger cohort of head and neck cancer patients.

METHODS: A total of 44 head and neck cancer patients were recruited with 39 patients contributing full data sets for analysis. Patients received a dose of 50 Gy in 25 fractions to the bilateral lymph nodes in the neck. Left and right lymph node areas were randomised to either Mepitel Film or Biafine cream, applied prophylactically. Skin reaction severity was measured using Radiation-Induced Skin Reaction Assessment Scale (RISRAS) and expanded Radiation Oncology group (RTOG) grades. Skin dose was measured using gafchromic Film.

RESULTS: Skin reaction severity (combined RISRAS score) underneath Mepitel Film was decreased by 30% (P < 0.001) and moist desquamation rates by 41% (P < 0.001). Skin dose underneath Mepitel Film and Biafine cream was similar (P = 0.925) and unlikely to have affected skin reaction severity. The vast majority (80%) of patients preferred Mepitel Film over Biafine cream. Negative aspects of Mepitel Film included poor adherence (11/39) and discomfort (16/39) during hot weather and showering and itchy skin underneath Mepitel Film (12/39).

CONCLUSIONS: Mepitel Film was superior to Biafine cream in reducing the severity of acute radiation-induced skin reactions and moist desquamation incidence in our head and neck patient cohort.