Radiation and Environmental Biophysics

, Volume 53, Issue 3, pp 621–626 | Cite as

Complementary and alternative medicine in reducing radiation-induced skin toxicity

  • Jennifer J. Hu
  • Tengjiao Cui
  • Jorge L. Rodriguez-Gil
  • Glenn O. Allen
  • Jie Li
  • Cristiane Takita
  • Brian E. Lally
Original Paper

Abstract

Radiation therapy-induced acute and late effects, particularly skin toxicities, have significant impact on cancer patients’ quality of life and long-term survival. To date, no effective topical agents have been routinely used in the clinical setting to prevent skin toxicity. Using SKH-hr1 hairless mice, we investigated two complementary and alternative medicine in their effects on inflammation and ionizing radiation (IR)-induced skin toxicity: Calendula officinalis (CO) and Ching Wan Hung (CWH). They were applied immediately following each IR dosing of 10 Gy/day for 4 days. Skin toxicity and inflammatory factors were evaluated at multiple time points up to 15 days post-radiation. Serum interleukin (IL)-1α, monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP1), keratinocyte-derived chemokine (KC), and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) were significantly induced by radiation. Both CO and CWH significantly inhibited IR-induced MCP1 (p < 0.01), KC (p < 0.05), and G-CSF (p < 0.001). IR-induced erythema and blood vessel dilation were significantly reduced by CWH (p < 0.001) but not by CO at day 10 post-IR. Both agents inhibited IR-induced IL-1α (p < 0.01), MCP1 (p < 0.05), and vascular endothelial growth factor (p < 0.05). There were continuous inhibitory effects of CWH on IR-induced skin toxicities and inflammation. In contrast, CO treatment resulted in skin reactions compared to IR alone. Our results suggest that both CO and CWH reduce IR-induced inflammation and CWH reduced IR-induced erythema. In summary, CWH showed promising effects in reducing IR-related inflammation and skin toxicities, and future proof-of-principal testing in humans will be critical in evaluating its potential application in preventing IR-induced skin toxicities.

Keywords

Radiation protection Complementary and alternative medicine Skin toxicity Inflammation 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We dedicate this paper to the memory of senior research associate Venetta Thomas, who has provided technical support. We are thankful to Ahmed Mansoor and Xiadong Wu for technical support. This study was supported by a Department of Defense Concept Award (BC076685) and to J. J. Hu.

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jennifer J. Hu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Tengjiao Cui
    • 3
  • Jorge L. Rodriguez-Gil
    • 1
    • 2
  • Glenn O. Allen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jie Li
    • 2
    • 3
  • Cristiane Takita
    • 2
    • 4
  • Brian E. Lally
    • 2
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Public Health SciencesUniversity of Miami School of MedicineMiamiUSA
  2. 2.Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer CenterUniversity of Miami Miller School of MedicineMiamiUSA
  3. 3.Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous SurgeryUniversity of Miami Miller School of MedicineMiamiUSA
  4. 4.Department of Radiation OncologyUniversity of Miami Miller School of MedicineMiamiUSA

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