Addressing radiotherapy-induced fibrosis: the potential of platelet-rich plasma and infliximab for improved breast cancer management

Histochem Cell Biol. 2024 May;161(5):381-389. doi: 10.1007/s00418-024-02267-z. Epub 2024 Jan 28.


Breast cancer treatment encompasses various therapeutic modalities, including surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy. Breast-conserving surgery has been an integral part of breast cancer management. However, radiotherapy, an important component of breast cancer management, can lead to complications, particularly fibrosis, affecting reconstructive surgery outcomes. We conducted an in vivo study using 48 female Wistar Albino rats, employing segmental mastectomy and radiotherapy to simulate post-mastectomy conditions. The rats were divided into six groups: control, mastectomy, mastectomy + radiotherapy, mastectomy + platelet-rich plasma (PRP) + radiotherapy, mastectomy + infliximab + radiotherapy, and mastectomy + infliximab + PRP + radiotherapy. Edema, hyperemia, inflammation, and fibrosis were assessed as indicators of tissue response. Histopathological analysis revealed that mastectomy + infliximab and mastectomy + infliximab + PRP groups showed significant reductions in fibrosis compared to other groups. Edema, hyperemia, and inflammation were also less severe in these groups compared to the control group. Radiotherapy-induced fibrosis is a major concern in breast reconstruction. Our study suggests that local PRP application and systemic infliximab administration, either alone or in combination, could mitigate the adverse effects of radiotherapy. This approach has the potential to improve reconstructive outcomes in patients undergoing or having the possibility to undergo radiotherapy. This is the first study showing the effectiveness of infliximab and PRP combination on wound healing. The provided experimental rat model might offer guidance for further research. This study provides insights into optimizing outcomes in reconstructive breast surgery, paving the way for further research and clinical studies.

Keywords: Breast reconstruction; Breast-conserving surgery; Fibrosis; Infliximab; PRP; Radiotherapy.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Breast Neoplasms* / drug therapy
  • Breast Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Breast Neoplasms* / radiotherapy
  • Female
  • Fibrosis*
  • Infliximab* / therapeutic use
  • Mastectomy
  • Platelet-Rich Plasma* / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar*


  • Infliximab