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Support Care Cancer. 2011 May;19(5):639-46. doi: 10.1007/s00520-010-0875-0. Epub 2010 Apr 28.

Healing action of topical chamomile on 5-fluoracil induced oral mucositis in hamster.

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Universidade Nove de Julho-UNINOVE, São Paulo, Brazil.



Oral mucositis is a common complication in the treatment of cancer. Its management and prevention are seen as high priority in cancer patient care. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of topical chamomile in the treatment of oral mucositis induced by 5-fluoracil (5-FU) in hamsters.


One hundred five hamsters were randomly separated into three groups (35 animals each): group I--without treatment (control); group II--treatment with chamomile (Ad-Muc®); and group III--treatment with corticoid (betamethasone elixir--Celestone®). The animals received an intraperitoneal injection of 5-FU on days 0 and 2. On days 3 and 4, the buccal mucosa was scratched and therapy was initiated on day 5. Three animals were sacrificed on days 0, 2, 5, 8, 10, 12, 14, and 16, weighed, and the buccal mucosa removed for clinical and histopathological analysis.


The animals that developed mucositis and were treated with chamomile or the corticoid agent weighed significantly less than those in the control group. The group treated with the corticoid agent exhibited a more severe clinical condition, whereas the group treated with chamomile exhibited mild mucositis throughout the experiment. The group treated with chamomile had a 12-fold greater chance of scoring zero (absence of mucositis) than the control group. Analysis of the histopathological results demonstrated that the group treated with chamomile exhibited a lesser degree of mucositis throughout the evaluation period in comparison to the control and corticoid groups.


Chamomile proved effective in the treatment of oral mucositis in a hamster model. However, well-designed clinical studies are needed to confirm the clinical efficacy of this medicine in humans.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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