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Integr Cancer Ther. 2018 Jun;17(2):444-450. doi: 10.1177/1534735417725578. Epub 2017 Sep 4.

Efficacy of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Treatment and Prophylaxis of Radiation-Induced Oral Mucositis in Patients Receiving Radiotherapy: A Randomized Controlled Trial.

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1 Tianjin Medical University Cancer Institute and Hospital, National Clinical Research Center for Cancer, Key Laboratory of Cancer Prevention and Therapy, Tianjin's Clinical Research Center for Cancer, Tianjin, China.
2 Fudan University Shanghai Cancer Center, Shanghai, China.



To estimate the efficacy of traditional Chinese medicine (Chining decoction, CHIN) for radiation-induced oral mucositis in patients with head and neck cancer.


From May 2014 to December 2015, 70 consecutive patients were randomly assigned to receive CHIN (treatment group) or recombinant human epidermal growth factor (rhEGF) spray (control group) at a 1:1 ratio. CHIN was administered to treatment group from the first day of radiotherapy until the completion of radiotherapy. Simultaneously, the rhEGF spray was administered to control group on the oral mucosa of irradiated area. The clinical benefit was determined by gradation of mucositis (Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events v4.0), oral pain, and xerostomia (visual analysis scale) for each week during radiotherapy. Body mass index was evaluated before and after radiotherapy.


Patients in the treatment group had prominent remission of oral pain and grade of mucositis on each observing point compared with those in control group ( P < .01). Xerostomia was decreased notably in treatment group compared with control group ( P < .01). Body mass index in the treatment group exhibited advantage over control group after radiotherapy, but there was no statistical significance (19.8 ± 3.26 vs 18.8 ± 2.5 kg/m2, P = .153, >.05).


CHIN presented an obvious advantage in preventing radiation-induced oral mucositis compared with rhEGF spray.


head and neck cancer; mucositis; radiation-induced oral mucositis; radiotherapy; traditional Chinese medicine

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