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Postoperative radiotherapy in the management of keloids

8 Nov 2016
Claudia C Carvajal, Carla M Ibarra, Douglas L Arbulo, Moisés N Russo, Claudio P Solé

Background: The high recurrence rate following keloid resection has generated interest in adjuvant treatments for this disease.

Objective: This study assesses keloid recurrence when treated with surgery and adjuvant radiotherapy.
Methods: Retrospective analysis of resected keloids in patients referred to a Chilean radiation oncology centre between 2006 and 2013. Local recurrence was defined as new tissue growth on the surgical scar margin.

Results: Around103 keloids were analysed in 63 patients treated with 15 Gy in three fraction radiotherapy which was initiated on the same day as the surgery (75% of cases).The median keloid diameter was 6 cm; the most common site was thoracic (22%); the most common cause was prior surgery (35%); 37% caused symptoms, and several (47%) had received prior treatment with corticosteroids (32%), or surgery (30%). The median follow-up was three years, and 94% of recurrences occurred during the first year following treatment. Uni and multivariate analyses showed that an absence of symptoms was a protective factor for recurrence (OR: 0.24), while the time interval from onset to treatment with surgery plus radiotherapy >4.2 years was a risk factor (OR: 2.23). The first year recurrence rate was 32% and stabilised at 32% by the second year with no recurrences after 15 months.

Conclusions: The combination of surgery and radiotherapy proved to be a good therapeutic alternative in the management of keloids. Our results are similar to those described in the literature for a dose of 15 Gy. Given these results, our centre will implement a new dose escalation protocol to improve future outcomes.

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