Film dressing prevents skin reaction during radiotherapy
6 May 2014
Mepitel Film dressings prevent the development of moist
desquamation: painful skin ulcerations associated with breast cancer
radiation therapy, according to a study published in the
Radiotherapy & Oncology Journal. The study also found that the
same dressing reduced the overall severity of skin reactions such as
itching and irritation by 92%.
Radiation-induced skin reactions occur in 80-90% of breast cancer
patients and can range from mild redness to ulceration, with
symptoms of pain, burning and itchiness. This can have a very
negative impact on day to day life for patients, who already have to
cope with being diagnosed with and treated for cancer.
Until now, creams, gels and dressings have been used to reduce
these severe side effects, but none have been able to completely
A study conducted in New Zealand has shown that the use of
MepitelFilm, a thin, transparent dressing using Mölnlycke Health
Care’s Safetac technology, before, during and after radiation
therapy, prevents the development of moist desquamation and reduces
the severity of other skin reactions.
78 patients undergoing radiation therapy for breast cancer took
part in the trial. Each patient’s irradiated skin area was divided
into two halves, with Mepitel Film used on one side and aqueous
cream on the other. The study found that there were no cases of
ulceration or severe skin reactions on the skin under Mepitel Film,
whilst cream-treated skin developed these wounds in 26% of patients.
In addition, the skin reactions that did develop under Mepitel Film
were 92% less severe than in the cream-treated control group.
Dr. Patries Herst, a senior lecturer at the Department of
Radiation Therapy at the University of Otago and principal
investigator for the trial, said, “I am absolutely delighted with
the results! We finally have a product that really works; this is
fantastic news for cancer patients.”
Phil Cooper, President of Mölnlycke Health Care’s Wound Care
Division, said, “The dermatological side effects associated with
radiation therapy can be very severe. Not only do they cause
physical suffering, but also impact the lives of patients, limiting
the clothes they can wear and activities they can engage in.
“By using a transparent, thin and pain-free dressing, patients
can drastically improve their quality of life during and after
treatment. I know I speak on behalf of all of my colleagues when I
say that we are very proud to be involved in making that possible.”
1. Herst PM, et al. Prophylactic use of Mepitel Film prevents
radiation-induced moist desquamation in an intra-patient randomised
controlled clinical trial of 78 breast cancer patients. Radiother
2. Wells M. Radiation skin reactions. Faithfull S (Ed) Supportive
care in radiotherapy. London: Churchill Livingstone 135-159, 2003.