Thermal monitoring of tumor and tissue state during radiation therapy – a complex case of radiation recall

Merav A. Ben-David, Oshrit Hoffer, Dana Kirshenabum, Eyal Katz, Dror Alezra, Zvi Symon, Tatiana Rabin, Yair Zimmer, Itzhak Kelson, Israel Gannot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Common radiation dermatitis over radiation fields can be mild as minor erythema but can also be associated with blisters and skin desquamation. This phenomenon has been widely investigated and documented, especially in breast cancer patients. Obesity, smoking, and diabetes are known risk factors; however, we cannot predict the severity of radiation dermatitis prior to treatment. The overwhelming radiation recall dermatitis is an acute inflammatory reaction confined to previously irradiated areas that can be triggered when chemotherapy agents are administered after radiother-apy. This rare, painful skin reaction leads to treatment cessation or alteration. In this study, we investigate the feasibility of using thermography as a tool to predict the response of normal breast tissue and skin to radiation therapy and the risk of developing radiation recall dermatitis. Six women with viable in-breast tumor (breast cancer) and eight women who underwent tumor resection (lumpectomy) were monitored by a thermal camera prior to radiotherapy treatment (breast region) and on weekly basis, in the same environmental conditions, through the radiation course of treatment. One patient developed radiation recall dermatitis when treated with chemotherapy following radiation therapy, and needed intensive local treatments and narcotics with full recovery thereafter. Clinical and treatment data as well as response to radiation were collected prospectively. The ongoing thermal changes observed during the radiation treatment for all patients, with and without viable tumor in the breast, were documented, analyzed, and reported here with detailed comparison to the recognized data for the patient diagnosed with radiation recall dermatitis.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)125-131
Number of pages7
JournalCritical Reviews in Biomedical Engineering
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2020


  • Breast cancer
  • Radiation therapy
  • Thermal imaging

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biomedical Engineering


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