Sodium Sucrose Octasulfate (Na SOS)

Sodium Sucrose Octasulfate (Na SOS)

PEP Topic 

Sodium sucrose octasulfate is a chemical compound. A similar compound, aluminum sucrose octasulfate (sucralfate), has been used clinically for the prevention of gastrointestinal ulcers and was found to have cytoprotective effects. The sodium and aluminum compounds are contents of various cosmetics for skin care.  Sodium sucrose octasulfate was evaluated in patients with cancer for the prevention and management of radiodermatitis.

Effectiveness Not Established

Research Evidence Summaries

Evensen, J. F., Bjordal, K., Jacobsen, A. B., Løkkevic E. & Tausjø, J. E. (2001). Effects of Na-sucrose octasulfate on skin and mucosa reactions during radiotherapy of head and neck cancers--a randomized prospective study. Acta Oncologica, 40, 751–755.


Study Purpose:

To evaluate the protective effects of Na-sucrose octasulfate (NaSOS) on radiation-induced skin damage in patients with head and neck cancer.

Intervention Characteristics/Basic Study Process:

Each patient was his or her own control. NaSOS was applied on one side, and the placebo was applied to the other. It was started on day 1 of radiation therapy (RT) treatment. The gel was applied twice a day during RT and for two weeks after.

Sample Characteristics:

  • The sample was comprised of 60 patients (20 females, 40 males).
  • Mean age was 60 years (range 21–81).
  • Patients had head and neck cancer.
  • Megavoltage was 4 to 6 MV.
  • There were two opposing lateral portals with separate anterior low neck portals, 2 Gy per fraction, to a total dose of 50 to 70 Gy. Mean total dose was 59.7 Gy.



Study Design:

The study used a quasiexperimental, double-blind, vehicle-controlled design. Each patient was his or her own control.

Measurement Instruments/Methods:

  • Assessments were performed at initiation and weekly.
  • European Organisation for Research and Treatment of cancer (EORTC)/Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) acute skin reaction scoring system was used for skin reactions and for pain and itching on both sides.


  • The mean skin reaction grade was higher where the placebo was used (p = 0.02).
  • There were no differences between groups in other variables or the timing of skin reaction development.


There was no significant protective effect with use of NaSOS.


  • The authors did not specify who performed evaluations, and there was no interrater reliability.
  • There was no log for validation of compliance with study protocol.
  • Other skin care regimens are uncertain.
  • The study had a relatively small sample size.