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Persistent radiation-induced alopecia dose-dependent in sarcoma

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In patients with primary central nervous system (CNS) tumors or head and neck sarcoma who had persistent radiation-induced alopecia, topical minoxidil and procedural interventions may be beneficial, according to a study in JAMA Dermatology.

In this retrospective cohort study, 71 patients with primary CNS tumors or head and neck sarcomas who were evaluated for persistent radiation-induced alopecia, were included.

In 56% of patients, alopecia severity was grade 1, with 54% localized, 24% diffuse, or 22% mixed patterns.

The median (range) estimated scalp radiation dose was 39.6 GY and higher dose and proton irradiation was associated with more severe alopecia. At a dose of 36.1 Gy, 50% of patients were estimated to have grade 2 or higher alopecia.

In total, 82% of patients responded to topical minoxidil, with 5% experiencing clinical images improved in severity grade.

Phillips GS, Freret ME, Friedman DN, et al. Assessment and treatment outcomes of persistent radiation-induced alopecia in patients with cancer. JAMA Dermatol. Published online August 05, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2020.2127