- Radiation therapy is
often used in breast cancer patients to eradicate residual cancer
- Radiotherapy causes a
number of undesirable side effects to the skin
- New LED based imaging
device is able to measure and monitor skin toxicity during treatment
adverse effects on the skin can be measured and monitored and the differing severity of toxicity in various
patients can hopefully be accurately predicted one day
, feel a team of
scientists from Beckman Laser Institute (BLI) and Medical Clinic, and
the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of California,
Irvine. In the current study they tested a new imaging device developed by a start-up, Modulated Imaging Inc. (Irvine, CA).
The research team feels that if skin damage can be accurately measured and the potential
severity of toxicity in patients accurately predicted, it could help in better optimizing radiation treatment
‘By measuring skin toxicity throughout treatment, it will be possible to understand factors involved in skin damage and, hopefully, to predict risk of acute and chronic reactions.’
At present, there is no method to predict the severity of these acute and
, and existing evaluation parameters are highly subjective.
of the Study
light from the LED device is shined on the breast tissue, some amount of light will be absorbed
and the rest scattered. The tool
basically measures the light
absorbing and scattering properties of the skin
The team used different LED devices to
test the effects of eight different wavelengths of light and their effects on
the skin. They were able to accurately quantify the state of the skin's health.
To measure the skin health accurately, an
imaging technique called Spatial Frequency
Domain Imaging, or SFDI was employed
which imparted distinctly recognizable
patterns on an in-built
digital micro-mirror device within the LED imager.
"Since we use several wavelengths of
light, we perform spectroscopy and obtain
the content of melanin, tissue hemoglobin, in the de-oxygenated and oxygenated
, from which we can calculate the total blood volume and oxygen
saturation in the tissue," said Anaïs
post-doctoral researcher at BLI and lead author of the paper.
"We measure superficially, about three to five millimeters deep."
Features of the LED Device
This technique is non-invasive
able just a few millimeters thickness of skin can reveal a lot
about the radiation induced changes. Additionally, employing a projector technology
, helps view and
measure over huge areas (about 20 cm by 20 cm) without scanning.
"We're hoping that we can see skin
thickening in the scattering parameters we're looking at," she said.
"We think that the radiation induces a remodeling of the collagen in the
skin, which should be seen as a change in the scattering parameter."
The scientists were able to address the
concerns of physicians about the device exposing the patients to radiation once again. They claim that it takes
10 measurements with
the device to equal
the sun for two seconds.
Induced Skin Damage
can cause physical damage to the skin
and prolonged exposure is known to cause certain cancers such as skin
The most commonly observed toxicities of
radiation exposure include irritation, and sometimes blistering and peeling.
Patients can also develop permanent discoloration of the skin and marked
thickening and fibrosis which is often a delayed side effect.
In future, the research team hopes to
upon the modeling
of the LED device making it smaller
measurement times still further
the technology cheaper
better lotions and applications relevant to the damage
In conclusion, though the study is still
in its infancy, the authors hope that one day it would prove to be a game changer in the
optimization of radiotherapy and treatment of its adverse effects in cancer
- Rhonda M. Brand et al. A Topical Mitochondria-Targeted Redox Cycling Nitroxide Mitigates Oxidative Stress Induced Skin Damage, Journal of Investigative Dermatology (2016).DOI: 10.1016/j.jid.2016.09.033