Prospective evaluation of radiation-induced skin toxicity in a race/ethnically diverse breast cancer population

Jean L. Wright, Cristiane Takita, Isildinha M. Reis, Wei Zhao, Eunkyung Lee, Omar L. Nelson, Jennifer J. Hu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


We evaluated predictors of radiation-induced skin toxicity in a prospective study of a tri-racial/ethnic breast cancer population. We evaluated patient demographics, tumor characteristics, and treatment variables in the first 392 patients in a prospective study assessing radiation-induced skin toxicity. Logistic regression analyses were conducted to evaluate potential predictors of skin toxicity. The study consists of 59 non-Hispanic whites (NHW; 15%), 241 Hispanic Whites (HW; 62%), 79 black or African Americans (AA; 20%), and 13 others (3%). Overall, 48% developed grade 0-1 skin toxicity, 49.8% grade 2, and 2.2% grade 3 by the National Cancer Institute's Common Toxicity Criteria for Adverse Events (CTCAE) scale. Twenty-one percent developed moist desquamation. In multivariate analysis, higher body mass index (BMI; OR = 2.09; 95%CI = 1.15, 3.82), higher disease stage (OR = 1.82; 95%CI = 1.06, 3.11), ER-positive/PR-negative status (OR = 2.74; 95%CI = 1.26, 5.98), and conventionally fractionated regimens (OR = 3.25; 95%CI = 1.76, 6.01) were significantly associated with higher skin toxicity grade after adjustment for age, race, ethnicity, ER status, and breast volume. BMI specifically predicted for moist desquamation, but not degree of erythema. In this racially and ethnically diverse cohort of breast cancer patients receiving radiation to the intact breast, risk factors including BMI, disease stage, and conventionally fractionated radiation predicted for higher skin toxicity grade, whereas age, race, ethnicity, and breast volume did not. BMI specifically predicted for moist desquamation, suggesting that preventive measures to address this particular outcome should be investigated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)454-464
Number of pages11
JournalCancer medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016


  • Breast cancer
  • Racial/ethnic disparity
  • Radiation dermatitis
  • Radiation therapy
  • Skin toxicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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