Pilot study: protective effect on mucosal tissue using dental waterjet and dexpanthenol rinsing solution during radiotherapy in head and neck tumor patients
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Radiogenic side effects are frequently seen in patients undergoing radiotherapy for head and neck tumors. Intensified dental and mucosal care reduce oral hygienic deficits. The aim of this study was the optimization of mouth hygiene using dexpanthenol rinsing solution applied with a dental waterjet system (DWS).
30 consecutive head and neck tumor patients (44–75 years) were analyzed, who received intensity-modulated radiation treatment (IMRT; total dose range: 54–66 Gy) with helical Tomotherapy HiArt II. The group under investigation (n = 10) additionally received a professional DWS using dexpanthenol mouthrinse (Bepanthen). The first control group received dexpanthenol mouthrinse alone. The second control group only performed the standardized mouth hygiene protocol. Grade of xerostomia, taste, dysphagia, thrush, and mucositis was evaluated on a daily basis.
29 of 30 patients completed radiation therapy. Change in taste occurred in all patients in all groups, however, with a delay in the study group. The occurrence of grade III stomatitis and Xerostomia grade II was significantly reduced in the study arm. No patient suffered from grade III xerostomia in the study arm versus four patients in the control groups. Dysphagia grade II was observed significantly less frequent in the study group (p = 0.0004). Thrush occurrence showed a delay in the study group.
Our study underlines the importance of an intensified mouth hygiene during radiation therapy. The combination of dexpanthenol rinsing solution + DWS reduces the incidence of high-grade early side effects which often lead to a reduced quality of life and abortion of the treatment.
KeywordsHead and neck cancer Rinsing solution Mouth shower Tomotherapy Mucositis Radiation therapy
We thank Procter & Gamble Service GmbH, GAS-Global After Sales, Frankfurter Str.145, D-61476 Kronberg/Taunus for the support of the study by kindly providing 10 dental waterjet systems.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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