Acute radiodermatitis is the most common side effect in non-melanoma skin cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy. Nonetheless, despite the ongoing progress of clinical trials, no effective regimen has been found yet. In this study, a non-woven patch, comprised of electrospun polymeric micro/nanofibers loaded with an aqueous extract of Pinus halepensis bark (PHBE), was fabricated and clinically tested for its efficacy to prevent radiodermatitis. The bioactivity of the PHBE patch was evaluated in comparison with a medical cream indicated for acute radiodermatitis. Twelve volunteer patients were selected and randomly assigned to two groups, applying either the PHBE patch or the reference cream daily. Evaluation of radiation-induced skin reactions was performed during the radiotherapy period and 1 month afterwards according to the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) grading scale, photo-documentation, patient-reported outcomes (Visual Analog Scale, questionnaire), biophysical measurements (hydration, transepidermal water loss, erythema, melanin), and image analysis. In contrast with the reference product, the PHBE patch showed significant anti-inflammatory activity and restored most skin parameters to normal levels 1 month after completion of radiation therapy. No adverse event was reported, indicating that the application of the PHBE patch can be considered as a safe medical device for prophylactic radiodermatitis treatment.
Keywords: Pinus halepensis bark extract; acute radiodermatitis; anti-inflammatory activity; electrospun nanofibrous patches; non-melanoma skin cancer; patients; radiation therapy.