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Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2012 Apr;29(3):285-92. doi: 10.3109/08880018.2012.669026.

Honey and a mixture of honey, beeswax, and olive oil-propolis extract in treatment of chemotherapy-induced oral mucositis: a randomized controlled pilot study.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt.


In spite of being one of the most investigated subjects among supportive care in cancer, no therapy has been found effective in treatment of chemotherapy-induced oral mucositis. Based on the observations that honey bees products have anti-inflammatory and wound healing effects, the present study tried to evaluate the effect of topical application of honey and a mixture of honey, olive oil-propolis extract, and beeswax (HOPE) in treatment of oral mucositis. This was a randomized controlled clinical trial conducted on 90 patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and oral mucositis grades 2 and 3. The mean age of enrolled patients was 6.9 years. The patients were assigned into 3 equal treatment groups: Honey, HOPE, and control groups. Topical treatment for each patient consists of honey, HOPE, and benzocaine gel for honey, HOPE, and control groups, respectively. Recovery time in grade 2 mucositis was significantly reduced in the honey group as compared with either HOPE or controls (P < .05). In grade 3 mucositis, recovery time did not differ significantly between honey and HOPE (P = 0.61) but compared with controls, healing was faster with either honey or HOPE (P < .01). Generally, in both grades of mucositis, honey produced faster healing than either HOPE or controls (P < .05). Based on our results that showed that honey produced faster healing in patients with grade 2/3 chemotherapy-induced mucositis, we recommend using honey and possibly other bee products and olive oil in future therapeutic trials targeting chemotherapy-induced mucositis.


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