A localised skin reaction after chemotherapyBMJ 2018; 360 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k469 (Published 01 March 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;360:k469
- Jennifer Kahan, clinical fellow oncology,
- Russell Banner, consultant clinical oncologist
- West Wales Cancer Centre, Singleton Hospital, Swansea, UK
- Correspondence to J Kahan
A 51 year old woman with metastatic endometrial cancer presented with well demarcated erythema and discomfort over her lower lumbar back (fig 1, fig 2). She had recently started paclitaxel chemotherapy. Five weeks before starting the paclitaxel, she had received a single fraction of radiotherapy to an L2 vertebral metastasis.
What is the skin reaction?
This is radiation recall dermatitis. It is a localised acute inflammatory skin reaction at the site of previous radiation, which follows administration of a promoting agent—usually a chemotherapeutic agent.
A true radiation recall reaction typically presents when chemotherapy is given between seven and 40 days after radiotherapy.1 However, onset is variable.
Painful erythema in radiation recall dermatitis is …