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Morganti AG, Digesù C, Panunzi S, De Gaetano A, Macchia G, Deodato F, Cece MG, Cirocco M, Di Castelnuovo A, Iacoviello L, Valentini V, Cellini N, de Gaetano G.

Radiotherapy Unit, Department of Oncology, John Paul II Center for High Technology Research and Education in Biomedical Sciences, Catholic University, Campobasso, Italy.

PURPOSE: Given the high cost and side effects of radioprotective agents such as amifostine, attention has been focused on potentially equally effective but less expensive and toxic natural substances. We evaluated the potential radioprotective effects of wine in preventing skin toxicity in patients with breast cancer.

METHODS AND MATERIALS: Before treatment, the medical history and habits of patients were assessed and the information recorded in their clinical folders. Patients were divided into three groups based on the dose/fractionation scheme used: control group, 60.4 Gy (standard technique); Modulated Accelerated Radiotherapy in Adjuvant treatment of breast cancer (MARA)-1 protocol group, 44 Gy (concomitant boost to tumoral bed); and MARA-2 protocol group, 60 Gy (concomitant boost to tumoral bed). The impact of the following variables on acute skin toxicity was evaluated by chart review: radiotherapy protocol, planning target volume (PTV), comorbidity (e.g., hypertension and diabetes), hemoglobin level before therapy, adjuvant hormone therapy, adjuvant chemotherapy, cigarette smoking, and drinking habits.

RESULTS: The study population consisted of 348 patients. More severe skin toxicity was significantly associated with the radiotherapy protocol (p < 0.001) and median PTV (p = 0.005). In addition, the incidence of acute toxicity of Grade 2 or greater was higher in patients without alcohol intake (38.4% vs. 22.3%, p = 0.021). The daily amount of alcohol intake also influenced the incidence of skin toxicity, with an incidence of 38.4% in patients with no wine intake, 31.8% in patients drinking half a glass per day, 13.6% in patients drinking one glass per day, and 35.0% in patients drinking two glasses per day. Multivariate analysis showed that wine intake, PTV, and radiotherapy protocol were all significantly correlated with acute toxicity.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results indicate that wine may have a radioprotective effect; however, prospective studies are needed to confirm this beneficial effect of wine and its components.
PMID: 19395196 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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