Four patients with stable systemic sclerosis and limited skin involvement received radiation for the treatment of solid malignant neoplasms. Following localized irradiation, each patient developed an exaggerated cutaneous and internal fibrotic reaction in the irradiated areas. The surface area of fibrosis extended beyond the radiation portals employed, and the fibrotic process was poorly responsive to antifibrotic therapy. Three of the patients died of complications caused by fibrous encasement of internal organs. The extent and severity of postradiation fibrosis in these patients was distinctly unusual. These observations suggest that patients with systemic sclerosis are particularly susceptible to developing excessive radiation-induced fibrosis.
Varga J, Haustein UF, Creech RH, Dwyer JP, Jimenez SA. Exaggerated Radiation-Induced Fibrosis in Patients With Systemic Sclerosis. JAMA. 1991;265(24):3292-3295. doi:10.1001/jama.1991.03460240088033