Treating breast cancer radiotherapy-induced moist desquamation with a traditional Chinese medicine formula: a case series pilot study.

Research paper by Wang W Xiaoshan, Li L Zhixi, Liang L Liang, Luo L Shuchun, Wang W Xia, Wang W Yuyi, Luo L Feng

Indexed on: 22 Jul '14Published on: 22 Jul '14Published in: Journal of alternative and complementary medicine (New York, N.Y.)


Abstract Objective: A case series is presented to investigate the efficacy and safety of Erhegao for patients with breast cancer who have radiotherapy-induced moist desquamation.Eighteen women with breast cancer who received radiotherapy and developed moist desquamation were enrolled. Erhegao cream, a Traditional Chinese Medicine formula consisting of zinc oxide powder, calamine powder, and lithospermum oil, was applied on areas of moist desquamation. Application was repeated once a day until healing. The primary end point for efficacy was the time to healing of the moist desquamation areas. A numerical rating scale was used to measure wound pain relief daily. Incidence of toxicity was also assessed.The average time to healing of the moist desquamation area was 13.56 days. The mean pain scores on the first, third, and seventh days were 5.22, 2.94, and 0.83, respectively. Eight-three percent of patients reported pain relief after the first 3 days, and 94%, after the first week. The mean daily reduction in the pain score was 0.40. None of the patients developed clinical infections or reported any toxicity.This formula is effective and safe, especially for pain relief, and may be an alternative treatment for radiotherapy-induced moist desquamation in patients with breast cancer. Future randomized, controlled studies are needed to better evaluate the efficacy of Erhegao cream.