The use of low-energy laser (LEL) for the prevention of chemotherapy- and/or radiotherapy-induced oral mucositis in cancer patients: results from two prospective studies
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Low-energy laser (LEL) treatment has been suggested as an effective and safe method to prevent and/or treat oral mucositis induced by chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy; however, it has not gained wide acceptance so far.
Materials and methods
We conducted two clinical trials testing the LEL technique: firstly, as a secondary prevention in patients with various solid tumors treated with chemotherapy who all developed severe mucositis after a previous identical chemotherapy and, secondly, as therapeutic intervention (compared to sham illumination in a randomized way) in patients with hematological tumors receiving intensive chemotherapy and having developed low-grade oral mucositis.
We entered 26 eligible patients in the first study and 36 were randomized in the second study. The success rate was 81% (95%CI = 61–93%) when LEL was given as a preventive treatment. In the second study, in patients with existing lesions, the therapeutic success rate was 83% (95%CI = 59–96%), which was significantly different from the success rate reached in the sham-treated patients (11%; 95%CI = 1–35%); the time to development of grade 3 mucositis was also significantly shorter in the sham-treated patients (p < 0.001).
Our results strongly support the already available literature, suggesting that LEL is an effective and safe approach to prevent or treat oral mucositis resulting from cancer chemotherapy.
KeywordsCancer therapy complication Low-energy laser treatment Oral mucositis
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