Background: The skin toxicity-induced by ionizing radiation may limit the duration
of treatment and may lead to discomfort in quality of life of patients during radiotherapy.
Objective: The purpose of this randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study was to
investigate the preventive effect of oral administration of celecoxib (CLX) on the acute radiation-
induced skin toxicity in patients with breast cancer.
Methods: Sixty breast cancer patients were randomly assigned to use CLX (400 mg per
day) or placebo capsules during radiotherapy. Radiation-induced dermatitis was classified
according to the radiation therapy oncology group (RTOG) criteria, as well as pain and itching
were scored according to the VAS (Visual Analogue Scale) for six weeks of treatment.
Breast swelling was evaluated through increase in the size of the breast during radiotherapy.
Results: Oral administration of CLX capsule during and after radiotherapy reduced significantly
radiation-induced itching and pain in patients with breast cancer. CLX reduced the
frequency of increased breast size caused by radiotherapy in patients as compared with placebo;
however, this difference was statistically not significant. Patients who received CLX
had insignificantly skin dermatitis when compared with placebo group.
Conclusion: However, CLX was unable to reduce the dermatitis caused by ionizing radiation;
it significantly reduced itching and pain in patients during radiotherapy. CLX may
have beneficial effects in the quality life of breast cancer patients for treatment.