Phase III double-blind evaluation of an aloe vera gel as a prophylactic agent for radiation-induced skin toxicity

Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 1996 Sep 1;36(2):345-9. doi: 10.1016/s0360-3016(96)00320-3.


Purpose: Considerable pilot data and clinical experience suggested that an aloe vera gel might help to prevent radiation therapy-induced dermatitis.

Methods and materials: Two Phase III randomized trials were conducted. The first one was double blinded, utilized a placebo gel, and involved 194 women receiving breast or chest wall irradiation. The second trial randomized 108 such patients to aloe vera gel vs. no treatment. Skin dermatitis was scored weekly during both trials both by patients and by health care providers.

Results: Skin dermatitis scores were virtually identical on both treatment arms during both of the trials. The only toxicity from the gel was rare contact dermatitis.

Conclusions: This dose and schedule of an aloe vera gel does not protect against radiation therapy-induced dermatitis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aloe*
  • Breast Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Dermatologic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Gels
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Placebos
  • Plants, Medicinal*
  • Radiation-Protective Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Radiodermatitis / prevention & control*
  • Severity of Illness Index


  • Dermatologic Agents
  • Gels
  • Placebos
  • Radiation-Protective Agents