European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology

, Volume 75, Issue 2, pp 171–178 | Cite as

Topical atorvastatin 1% for prevention of skin toxicity in patients receiving radiation therapy for breast cancer: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial

  • Arash Ghasemi
  • Zahra Ghashghai
  • Jafar Akbari
  • Jamshid Yazdani-Charati
  • Ebrahim Salehifar
  • Seyed Jalal HosseinimehrEmail author
Clinical Trial


Background and purpose

The purpose of this randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study was to investigate the preventive effect of topical administration of atorvastatin (ATV) on the acute radiation-induced skin toxicity in patients with breast cancer.

Patients and methods

Seventy breast cancer patients were randomly assigned to use topical ATV 1% or placebo gels during radiotherapy twice daily. Radiation-induced dermatitis was classified according to the radiation therapy oncology group (RTOG) criteria, as well as pain and itching were scored according to VAS (visual analogue scale) for 6 weeks of treatment.


Topical administration of ATV gel during radiotherapy reduced significantly radiation-induced breast swelling, itching, and pain in breast cancer patients by factors of 1.8, 1.7, and 1.5, respectively. ATV reduced the redness caused by radiotherapy in patients as compared with placebo; however, this difference was statistically not significant.


ATV was able to reduce significantly itching, breast edema, and pain in patients during radiotherapy.


Atorvastatin Skin toxicity Radiotherapy Radioprotective 



This research was the subject of a thesis of Zahra Ghashghaei as a Pharm D. student of Mazandaran University of Medical Science.

Funding information

This study was supported by a grant from Mazandaran University of Medical Science, Sari, Iran.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare that they had no conflicts of interest.

Supplementary material

228_2018_2570_MOESM1_ESM.docx (16 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 16.3 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Radiology and Radiation Oncology, Faculty of MedicineMazandaran University of Medical SciencesSariIran
  2. 2.Department of Radiopharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Sciences Research CenterMazandaran University of Medical SciencesSariIran
  3. 3.Student Research CommitteeMazandaran University of Medical SciencesSariIran
  4. 4.Department of Pharmaceutics, Faculty of PharmacyMazandaran University of Medical SciencesSariIran
  5. 5.Department of Biostatistics, Health Sciences Research Center, Addiction InstituteMazandaran University of Medical SciencesSariIran
  6. 6.Department of Clinical Pharmacy, Faculty of PharmacyMazandaran University of Medical SciencesSariIran

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