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Strahlenther Onkol. 2009 Aug;185(8):512-6. doi: 10.1007/s00066-009-1938-3. Epub 2009 Aug 4.

Amphotericin B lozengers: prophylaxis for esophagitis in thoracic radiotherapy: a prospective study.

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University Clinic of Radiation Oncology, Salzburger Landeskliniken und Paracelsus Medizinische Privatuniversität, Salzburg, Austria.



Esophagitis is an important side effect in thoracic radiotherapy, no preventive drug therapy has been established yet. The aim of the present study was to prospectively evaluate the effectiveness of prophylactic antimycotic treatment with amphotericin B lozengers.


40 consecutive patients with high-dose thoracic radiotherapy for lung cancer were investigated in a nonrandomized study. 20 patients receiving a median maximal esophageal dose of 67 Gy (range 61-80 Gy) were treated with amphotericin B lozengers four times daily from day 8 to the end of radiotherapy. Another 20 patients with a lower median maximal esophageal dose of 60 Gy (range 51-67.5 Gy) constituted the control group. Length of the irradiated esophagus and dose-length indices were evaluated. Side effects were prospectively scored according to the RTOG/EORTC criteria. There was a trend toward higher esophageal volumes in the prophylaxis group; furthermore, patients in this group were older, had a worse median Karnofsky Index and had more often received induction chemotherapy.


In the prophylaxis group, 15 patients remained free from esophagitis and five patients developed esophagitis grade 1. In the control group, four patients remained free from symptoms, 14 patients showed esophagitis grade 1 and two patients grade 2. The difference between the two groups was statistically significant (p < 0.05). The start of symptoms was delayed in the prophylaxis group in comparison to the control group: day 21 (median, range 14-44) and day 18 (median, range 10-32) respectively. Amphotericin B lozengers were tolerated without side effects by all patients.


Prophylactic administration of amphotericin B lozengers seems to effectively prevent radiation-induced esophagitis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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