Combination glutathione and anthocyanins as an alternative for skin care during external-beam radiation

Am J Surg. 2005 May;189(5):627-30; discussion 630-1. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2005.02.001.


Objective: Radiation dermatitis during therapy for breast malignancy can cause significant morbidity and delay treatment. RayGel (reduced glutathione and anthocyanins; Integrative Therapies, Portland, OR) appears to decrease this skin reaction, prompting us to undertake an objective evaluation of RayGel's effectiveness.

Methods: Patients undergoing whole breast external-beam irradiation were randomized to treatment with placebo or RayGel. Patients and investigators/staff were blinded to treatment assignment. Skin reaction was documented by photograph and severity scale.

Results: Thirty-two patients were enrolled. Thirty patients were randomized to receive placebo (n = 15) or RayGel (n = 15). Scores were calculated by percent of breast skin involved and grade of reaction. The group receiving RayGel had a lower average score, 93.7, versus the placebo group, 123.3.

Conclusion: RayGel provides skin protection during radiation therapy, superior to that observed with standard skin care and placebo. This formula may reduce discomfort associated with breast irradiation and thereby allow more consistent completion of radiation courses for the treatment of breast cancer.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anthocyanins / therapeutic use*
  • Breast Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Drug Combinations
  • Gels
  • Glutathione / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Radiodermatitis / prevention & control*
  • Radiotherapy, High-Energy / adverse effects*
  • Skin Care / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anthocyanins
  • Drug Combinations
  • Gels
  • RayGel
  • Glutathione