Radiodermatitis alternatively known as radiation dermatitis is a significant symptom caused by radiation therapy for the treatment of cancerous as well as non-cancerous disease or conditions. Cumulative daily doses of radiation to the treatment field or target site on the body prevents normal skin to repopulate and weakens the skin integrity at and around the radiation field. Radiodermatitis may be acute or chronic and encompasses localized erythema, skin shedding (desquamation), hair loss (epilation), fibrosis, necrosis and other similar conditions. The side effects of the Radiodermatitis affect the patient’s quality of life, cause pain and discomfort and hinders in the continuous treatment regimes. Radiodermatitis also may cause interruption in or cessation of treatment, depending on the severity of reaction.
In developed economic countries such as Europe, Canada, United States and Australia, approximately 60% of the patients diagnosed with cancer undergo chemotherapy of which 95% of the population may receive some degree of skin reaction such as erythema, dry desquamation, and moist desquamation among others. Major factors responsible for radiodermatitis is either treatment related or patient related. Treatment related risk factors encompasses type & quality of beam, doses amount, location and size of the treatment field. Modern radiotherapy techniques such as intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) and proton therapy in past few years have minimized the risk for radiodermatitis by precisely targeting the tumor cell thus sparing normal cells and tissues. Patient related factors include obesity, extremely poor nutritional status, smoking, individual radio sensitivity and other diseases such as autoimmune diseases.
Most of the dugs/vaccines are in the clinical trial phases and many of them are awaited for FDA approval. Most physicians and oncologists prefer off-label drugs such as Carac top, Fluoroplex top, Efudex top, fluorouracil top and others on a case to case basis. The drivers for the market include increasing cancer patient population opting for chemotherapy or radiation therapy. In 2012 according to WHO cancer patient accounted for 8.2 million worldwide. As per Cancer Treatment & Survivorship Facts by 2022 it is estimated that number of cancer survivor is estimated to increase and will reach up to 18 million in the U.S. which as of 2012 is approximately 13.7 million. Some of companies and universities working on pipeline vaccines against radiodermatitis comprises ProCertus BioPharm Inc., Stemnion, Inc., Futurum Group Pty Ltd, APEIRON Biologics AGand University of Rochester among others.
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