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Ablative dual-phase Erbium:YAG laser treatment of atrophy-related vaginal symptoms in post-menopausal breast cancer survivors omitting hormonal treatment

  • Original Article – Clinical Oncology
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Abstract

Purpose

First evaluation of dual-phase vaginal Er:YAG laser to omit hormonal treatment for atrophy-related symptoms in post-menopausal breast cancer survivors following prolapse surgery.

Methods

Patients with a history of breast cancer at the time of surgery for pelvic organ prolapse were offered non-hormonal vaginal Er:YAG laser treatment when complaining of atrophy-related genitourinary syndrome of menopause. A single 10-min course of dual-phase protocol of pulsed Er:YAG laser (2940 nm, fractional ablative and thermal mode, fluence according to tissue thickness). Follow-up included subjective satisfaction, vaginal pH, vaginal health index (VHI), and complications after 6 weeks.

Results

A total of 16 breast cancer survivors (age 71 years, SD 7) had been seeking treatment for pelvic floor symptoms related to vaginal atrophy at follow-up visits after prolapse surgery. All ablative vaginal Er:YAG laser outpatient procedures were successfully completed, all patients returned to daily activities without a need for analgetic medication. Evaluation was performed after 8.3 (SD 2.5) weeks. Pre-laser VHI scored 16 (SD 4.6) and post-laser VHI 20 (SD 3) with p = 0.01. Patients were satisfied in 94% (n = 15) regarding symptom relief.

Conclusions

Breast cancer survivors with atrophy-related complaints after pelvic floor surgery may benefit from vaginal application of this innovative dual protocol of Er:YAG laser technology as a non-hormonal treatment approach.

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Abbreviations

QoL:

Quality of life

GSM:

Genitourinary syndrome of menopause

SUI:

Stress urinary incontinence

ICS:

International Continence Society

EGGS:

Expectations, goal setting, goal achievement, satisfaction

SERM:

Selective estrogen receptor modulator

References

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Funding

MCL31 Dermablate was used at the expense of the company Asclepion Laser Technologies GmbH at the University Women’s Hospital, Jena University Hospital, Germany. Otherwise, only institutional funding has supported this study.

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Authors and Affiliations

Authors

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Correspondence to I. B. Runnebaum.

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Conflict of interest

ARM: Medical advisor for Asclepion Laser Technologies GmbH; received speaker honoraria; using MCL31 Dermablate at the expenses of the company at Jena University Hospital. MR: The Skin and Laser Center Landgrafen in Jena, Germany, is a reference center for Asclepion Laser Technologies GmbH; MR did not receive funding for this study. IBR: Chairman of the University Women´s Hospital Jena was supported by Asclepion Laser Technologies GmbH to use the MCL31 Dermablate at the expenses of the company.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors. Ethical approval was granted on the 11th of August 2017 (No. 5246–8/17) by the Ethics Commission of the Faculty of Medicine and the University Hospital. Additional ethical approval was not necessary from the Ethics Commission of the Faculty of Medicine and the University Hospital, as anonymised data only were analyzed in this study.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all patients prior to treatment.

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Mothes, A.R., Runnebaum, M. & Runnebaum, I.B. Ablative dual-phase Erbium:YAG laser treatment of atrophy-related vaginal symptoms in post-menopausal breast cancer survivors omitting hormonal treatment. J Cancer Res Clin Oncol 144, 955–960 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00432-018-2614-8

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00432-018-2614-8

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