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Cancer. 1995 Dec 15;76(12):2550-6.

Helium-neon laser effects on conditioning-induced oral mucositis in bone marrow transplantation patients.

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  • 1Department of Oral Diagnosis, University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine, Farmington, USA.



Oral mucositis is a common complication of bone marrow transplantation (BMT) conditioning therapy. Sequelae consist of increased risk for infection, moderate to severe pain, compromised oral function, and bleeding. This study investigated helium-neon laser treatment for prevention of conditioning-induced oral mucositis in BMT patients. Patterns and severity of mucositis for specific conditioning drug regimens also were analyzed.


Twenty patients received laser radiation to their oral mucosa, either left or right of midline. The contralateral side was sham-treated and served as a control. Mucositis severity was scored independently by two modified versions of the Oral Mucositis Index Scale (OMI-A and OMI-B) and the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) Oral Toxicity Scale; pain severity was scored by subjects on a visual analogue scale (VAS). Cumulative scores were analyzed for differences between the laser-treated and sham-treated sides.


Oral mucositis and pain scores were significantly lower for the treated versus the untreated side by OMI-A and B (P < 0.005) and VAS (P = 0.027) criteria, respectively. Ulcerative lesions occurred in all patients bilaterally; severity increased until Day +6, and lesions resolved by Day +21. Mucositis was more severe for patients conditioned with busulfan/carboplatin/thiotepa than for patients conditioned with busulfan/cyclophosphamide/etoposide.


Helium-neon laser treatment was well-tolerated and reduced the severity of conditioning-induced oral mucositis in BMT patients.

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