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Posted by on Oct 26, 2018 in Breast cancer | 0 comments

In a nutshell

This study wanted to find out if using a cream containing atorvastatin (Lipitor) on the skin of women who had radiation treatment for breast cancer would help with some of the negative side effects. The study found that using atorvastatin reduced itching, swelling and pain in patients receiving radiation therapy for breast cancer.

Some background

Radiotherapy is a common treatment for breast cancer. However it can result in some uncomfortable side effects related to the skin around the area being treated with radiation. Many trials have been performed to try and find a medication which can help with the side effects.  

Methods & findings

There were 70 patients in this trial. All of these patients had breast cancer, and had surgery to remove the tumor. All of the patients also had chemotherapy treatment. 34 of them were randomly assigned to use a cream containing 1% atorvastatin, while the remaining 36 patients used a cream with no active ingredient. This cream was applied to the skin twice a day during radiotherapy treatment.

It was found that in the patients who used atorvastatin, itching, pain and swelling around the treated area was significantly reduced compared to those who did not use atorvastatin.  Redness caused by radiotherapy was also reduced.

The bottom line

The study concluded that using a cream containing 1% atorvastatin resulted in reduced swelling, pain and itching in patients undergoing radiation therapy for breast cancer.

The fine print

This is a fairly small study, so a larger one would need to be done to confirm the results.

What’s next?

Discuss with your doctor if you wish to try this type of treatment.

Published By :

European journal of clinical pharmacology

Date :

Oct 06, 2018

Original Title :

Topical atorvastatin 1% for prevention of skin toxicity in patients receiving radiation therapy for breast cancer: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.

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