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Open Access Highly Accessed Review

Wound healing after radiation therapy: Review of the literature

Frank Haubner1*, Elisabeth Ohmann1, Fabian Pohl2, Jürgen Strutz1 and Holger G Gassner1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Division of Facial Plastic Surgery, University of Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany

2 Department of Radiotherapy, University of Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany

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Radiation Oncology 2012, 7:162  doi:10.1186/1748-717X-7-162

Published: 24 September 2012

Abstract

Radiation therapy is an established modality in the treatment of head and neck cancer patients. Compromised wound healing in irradiated tissues is a common and challenging clinical problem. The pathophysiology and underlying cellular mechanisms including the complex interaction of cytokines and growth factors are still not understood completely. In this review, the current state of research regarding the pathomechanisms of compromised wound healing in irradiated tissues is presented. Current and possible future treatment strategies are critically reviewed.

Keywords:
Wound healing; Radiation therapy