FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Redondo Beach, CA – November 19, 2014: Dr. Ulrike Ziegner of Riviera Allergy Medical Center (RAMC), a noted allergy doctor, contributed to a research project entitled “External Beam Radiation Therapy Evaluated in Patients with Breast Cancer with Cutaneous Mastocytosis.” The results of this study were presented as part of the 2014 Breast Cancer Symposium at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in a session which focused on Local/Regional Therapy, Survivorship, and Health Policy.
Mastocytosis is a group of disorders caused by an excessive amount of mast cells. Although they can help in healing wounds, mast cells also play a role in allergies and anaphylaxis. Mastocytosis might also affect the bone marrow and internal organs. Because mast cells are involved in allergic reactions, the symptoms of mastocytosis are often similar to those of an allergic reaction, such as itching, hives, skin lesions, fatigue, ear/nose/throat inflammation, headaches, and muscle pain.
The study was conducted because of a concern that radiation performed on breast cancer patients could activate mast cells and cause anaphylactic shock. This publication is the first information ever published in the medical literature regarding radiation treatment for patients with cutaneous mastocytosis. Based on her experience in dealing with mastocytosis in children and chronic autoimmune urticaria, Dr. Ziegner was asked to contribute her thoughts to compiling this article.
This report followed two patients with cutaneous mastocytosis with early stage breast cancer who received radiation treatment. With the initiation of radiation, a steroid and additional anti-inflammatory medicine or antihistamines were taken with the baseline medication. An epinephrine injection was also kept at the patients’ bedside. The results showed that both patients tolerated the radiation without any unusual toxicities and no anaphylaxis. Both patients also exhibited a decrease in chronic urticaria, a skin disease sometimes associated with mastocytosis that produces patches of darker skin and intense itching, known as urticarial pigmentosa. Although further evaluation is required, it is hoped that positive results from breast radiation can help avoid more extensive surgery and anesthesia, which could further exacerbate the mastocytosis.
The study is the first to document safety for breast radiation in patients with cutaneous mastocytosis. “I was honored to be part of this study,” commented Dr. Ziegner. “Riviera Allergy cares deeply about all of our patients. I am committed to doing everything I can to provide the latest in allergy treatment for patients, and to participate in research which provides treatment for breast cancer patients with mastocytosis.
About RAMC – Riviera Allergy Medical Center, located at 1711 Via El Prado, Suite 101 in Redondo Beach, offers allergy testing and asthma testing, as well as treatment for seasonal allergies, sinus allergies, chronic idiopathic urticaria and food allergies. Visit the website at http://rivieraallergy.com to watch videos in the Allergy and Asthma Education Center. “Like” the Facebook page for tips on asthma and allergy relief. Call 310-792-9050 to schedule an appointment.