Send to

Choose Destination
Radiother Oncol. 2013 Nov;109(2):297-302. doi: 10.1016/j.radonc.2013.08.010. Epub 2013 Sep 14.

Phase III trial of low-level laser therapy to prevent oral mucositis in head and neck cancer patients treated with concurrent chemoradiation.

Author information

Coordination of Clinical Research, Instituto Nacional de Câncer (INCA), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Electronic address:



Oral mucositis (OM) is a complication of chemoradiotherapy treatment of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) patients with no effective therapy. This study was designed to assess the efficacy of preventive low-level laser therapy (LLLT) in reducing the incidence of grade 3-4 OM.


From June 2007 to December 2010, 94 HNSCC patients entered a prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase III trial. Chemoradiotherapy consisted of conventional radiotherapy plus concurrent cisplatin every 3weeks. A diode InGaAlP (660nm-100mW-1J-4J/cm(2)) was used. OM evaluation was performed by WHO and OMAS scales and quality of life by EORTC questionnaires (QLQ).


A six-fold decrease in the incidence of grades 3-4 OM was detected in the LLLT group compared to the placebo; (6.4% versus 40.5%). LLLT impacted the incidence of grades 3-4 OM to a relative risk ratio of 0.158 (CI 95% 0.050-0.498). After treatment QLQ-C30 showed, differences favoring LLLT in physical, emotional functioning, fatigue, and pain; while the QLQ-H&N35 showed improvements in LLLT arm for pain, swallowing, and trouble with social eating.


Preventive LLLT in HNSCC patients receiving chemoradiotherapy is an effective tool for reducing the incidence of grade 3-4 OM. Efficacy data were corroborated by improvements seen in quality of life.


Chemotherapy; Head and neck cancer; Low-level laser therapy; Oral mucositis; Quality of life; Radiotherapy

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center