Individual Genetic Variation Might Predict Acute Skin Reactions in Women Undergoing Adjuvant Breast Cancer Radiotherapy

Anticancer Res. 2018 Dec;38(12):6763-6770. doi: 10.21873/anticanres.13047.


Adverse skin reactions during radiotherapy (RT) are common. The aim of this study was to explore whether genetic variation might be linked to acute radiation skin reactions (ARSR).

Materials and methods: One hundred and nineteen women undergoing adjuvant RT for breast cancer were included. The symptoms of itching, burning and irritation were self-reported twice using the visual analogue scale. Assessments used the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group scoring system for acute RT skin reaction (RTOG scale). Blood-based single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) analysis was performed. Thirty SNPs of well-defined functional genes were investigated.

Results: All women were assessed with ARSR. After RT, the women self-reported itching (n=97), burning (n=64) and irritation (n=96). Two SNPs in X-Ray Repair Cross Complementing 2 gene (XRCC2) rs2040639 and interferon gamma (IFNG) rs2069705 genes were found to be associated with ARSR.

Conclusion: An association between two SNPs and ARSR was found. The possibility of using these SNPs as prognostic biomarkers for ARSR as tools to improve the care of patients needs further investigation.

Keywords: Radiotherapy; breast cancer; single nucleotide polymorphism; skin reactions.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics
  • Breast Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Cohort Studies
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics*
  • Female
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Humans
  • Interferon-gamma / genetics*
  • Middle Aged
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide*
  • Prognosis
  • Radiodermatitis / diagnosis*
  • Radiodermatitis / genetics*
  • Radiotherapy, Adjuvant / adverse effects


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • IFNG protein, human
  • XRCC2 protein, human
  • Interferon-gamma