Combining EGCG with radiotherapy reduces radiation-induced dermatitis in breast cancer patients

July 2022 Cancer trials Nalinee Pandey
3d rendered illustration of breast cancer

Chinese researchers report that combining Epigallocatechin-3 gallate (EGCG) with adjuvant radiotherapy significantly reduced the incidence and severity of radiation-induced dermatitis in patients with breast cancer. The findings of this study were recently published in the Journal JAMA Dermatology.

Radiation-induced dermatitis is one of the most common adverse events associated with radiotherapy treatment for breast cancer patients. So far, there is no strategy available to prevent these events. Researchers at the Shandong Cancer Hospital and Institute, Jinan, China, have evaluated the efficacy of EGCG in preventing dermatitis.

Study design

The phase-2, double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomised trial enrolled 180 breast cancer patients between September 2019 and January 2020. The patients were randomly administered (2:1) either EGCG or placebo during the course of radiation therapy.  The study’s primary endpoint was radiation-induced dermatitis (defined by the radiation therapy oncology group scale) whereas the secondary endpoints include dermatitis index, symptom index, changes in the skin temperatures and safety.


Out of 180 participants, only 160 (111-EGCG and 54-Placebo) patients were available for efficacy evaluation. The grade ≥2 radiation-induced dermatitis was reduced with EGCG plus radiotherapy (50.5%, 95% confidence interval [CI], 41.2% to 59.8%) as compared to radiotherapy alone (72.2%, 95% CI, P=0.008). Further, the mean radiation-induced dermatitis index was also lowered with EGCG than with radiotherapy only. The safety profile of EGCG was a well-tolerated and valid option for patients with breast cancer.


The clinical study findings demonstrate the potential of EGCG as a new standard of care for breast cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy.


Zhao H, Zhu W, Zhao X, et al. Efficacy of Epigallocatechin-3-Gallate in Preventing Dermatitis in Patients With Breast Cancer Receiving Postoperative Radiotherapy: A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Phase 2 Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Dermatol.