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Integr Cancer Ther. 2014 Nov;13(6):468-72. doi: 10.1177/1534735414547110. Epub 2014 Aug 22.

Date palm pollen as a preventative intervention in radiation- and chemotherapy-induced oral mucositis: a pilot study.

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Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt.
University of Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada



The objective of this study was to explore the effectiveness of date palm pollen (DPP) in the prevention and treatment of oral mucositis induced by radiation and chemotherapy.


Twenty subjects with varying head and neck cancers were enrolled. Ten subjects were treated with DPP administered orally (2 g daily for 42 days) as a swish and swallow suspension, and 10 control subjects received the facility standard of care. Objective oral assessments using the Oral Mucositis Assessment Scale (OMAS) were conducted at baseline and while the subjects were on treatment. Study subjects also evaluated the treatment impact by visual analog scales for severity of mouth pain and ability to swallow.


The results obtained demonstrate a statistically significant difference between the mean OMAS score in the DPP treatment group and the control group. Symptoms such as impairment of solid food intake observed with the control group were not observed in the DPP-treated group following the treatment. Reduction of mucositis severity of pain and ability to swallow were statistically significant in the DPP-treated group.


DPP treatment reduced the incidence of mouth pain and oral ulcers that often require modifications to soft/liquid diet. The complex mixture of bioactive constituents contained in DPP may have protected the oral mucosa by blocking oxidative free radicals, preventing DNA damage, and neutralizing inflammatory reactions. Further randomized controlled studies are needed to validate DPP efficacy in the broader management of chemotherapy- and radiation-induced mucositis.


chemotherapy; date palm pollen; oral mucositis; radiation

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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