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Volume 20, Number 1, 2015

Adjuvance in refractory keloids using electron beams with a spoiler: Recent results

Antoni Vila Capel, Jorge Vilar Palop, Agustí Pedro Olivé, Alberto Sánchez-Reyes Fernández



To present clinical results of adjuvant irradiation of excised refractory keloid wounds using a novel bolus-free technique developed within our group to irradiate the skin surface with a linear accelerator.


The use of a bolus to increase surface dose over a newly excised keloid presents several problems. Previous solutions are unsatisfactory. Our technique is promising but needs to be evaluated in practice.

Materials and methods

Twenty refractory skin keloids in 19 patients were excised and irradiated in Hospital Plató (Barcelona, Spain) using a 6 MeV electron beam with a 4-mm aluminium spoiler. 15 Gy in fractions of 3 Gy were delivered to the excision site plus a safety margin. All patients were examined during the follow-up (median: 40 months, interval: 12–68 months) and toxicities were recovered.


At the end of the follow-up period, 76% of the cases had not recurred, while the complete response rate amounted to 53%. Residual hypertrophic scars were classified as partial responses. After therapy, itching and pain were observed in 30% of the patients, as well as one telangiectasia and two hyperchromatic scars.


Our technique avoids using a bolus while combining the benefits of electron beam therapy in keloids (fewer secondary effects, and fewer and shorter treatments) with a dose deposition adequate for skin surface treatments. Our results are in line with the most successful therapies evaluated in the literature, as secondary effects are acceptable and recurrence rates are low.

Signature: Rep Pract Oncol Radiother, 2015; 20(1) : 43-49

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