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Low-Level Laser Therapy for Oral Mucositis

Oral mucositis (OM) is the most common oral toxicity associated with cancer treatments adversely affecting patient comfort, quality of life, susceptibility to infection, nutritional impairment and psychological issues. It is a significant complication of radiation therapy to the head & neck region and chemotherapy, especially when associated with Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant. Although there are some promising products on the horizon, there is currently no standard prevention or treatment for OM. Therefore, focus normally consists of palliation, prevention/treatment of infections and pain management.

In 2007, the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer/International Society of Oral Oncology (MASCC/ISOO) upgraded Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) as a "recommended" method for the prevention of OM during bone-marrow and stem cell transplantation.

So, how does LLLT help with OM?

LLLT has shown to promote wound healing, reduce pain and inflammation. According to Efficacy of Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) in Oral Mucositis: What Have We Learned from Randomized Studies and Meta-Analyses?, "LLLT of an output power range from 5 to 200mW with helium/neon (He/Ne) laser of wavelength 632.8nm or diode lasers of various wavelengths ranging from 630 to 680nm, 700 to 830 nm, and 900nm is an efficacious, simple, and atraumatic technique in the treatment of OM, with no known toxicity in clinical setting. In addition, LLLT has been found to reduce the total duration and severity of OM in all the studies, with a few exceptions in which the laser parameters were, perhaps, inadequate."

Drs. Marshall R. Posner, MD and Robert I. Haddad, MD reported in "Novel Agents for the Treatment of Mucositis" in the October 2007 edition of www.SupportiveOncology.net, that (the MASCC) "suggested limiting the use of LLLT to centers able to support the necessary technology and training."

Further studies are needed to establish protocols and a standard of care regimen regarding the use of LLLT for the prevention and treatment of OM. Current studies are proving the potential for LLLT to be a valuable instrument in reducing the incidence of OM.

Additional Resources:

Evaluating the cost-effectiveness of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) in head and neck cancer patients submitted to concurrent chemoradiation

The following link is for informational purposes only and not an endorsment of this product. Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) for oral mucositis

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