Near infrared or infrared phototherapy involves the application of near infrared wavelength light. This approach was studied for its effect on oral mucositis in patients with cancer.
Hodgson, B. D., Margolis, D. M., Salzman, D. E., Eastwood, D., Tarima, S., Williams, L. D., et al. (2011). Amelioration of oral mucositis pain by NASA near-infrared light-emitting diodes in bone marrow transplant patients. Supportive Care in Cancer : Official Journal of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer, 20(7),1405-1415.
To investigate the use of extra-orally applied near infrared phototherapy for the reduction of oral pain secondary to chemotherapy and radiation therapy induced mucositis in adult and pediatric HSCT patients.
Eighty HSCT patients were divided into regular and low risk groups, and then into experimental and placebo groups. The experimental groups received gallium-aluminum-arsinide light emitting diode (LED) once daily, while the placebo group also received a similar appearing placebo treatment daily, beginning on day of HSCT (day 0) through day 14. The LED was applied extra-orally, by placing the light source in contact with the cheeks and anterior throat. The blinded evaluators examined the patients three times/week scoring their oral tissues, and patient reported pain assessments.
The sample was comprised of 80 patients age 3-74 years.
Males (%): 55 and Females (%): 45
Key Disease Characteristics: Aplastic anemia, neuroblastoma, AML, NHL, CLL, SLL, ALL, Hodkin’s disease, PNT, MES, Ewing's sarcoma, sickle cell anemia, CML, TC, HLH, WAS, MDS, osteoporosis, lymphoma, multiple myeloma, POEMS, amyloidosis
Other Key Sample Characteristics: All patients received conditioning therapy with melphalan.
Setting Type: Not specified
Location: Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, University of Alabama - Birmingham, The Children’s Hospital of Alabama
Phase of Care: Active treatment
Randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled
There were no significant differences in the WHO clinical examination scale between any of the groups. The other scales used also did not elicit significant differences.
Although it was not statistically significant, the data suggested a trend for the experimental groups to have general improvements in all of the scales.
Small sample <100
Groups were not split into children versus adults.
Inconclusive, would need much more research to demonstrate effectiveness. The positive note was that this treatment is applied extra-orally, making it more tolerable during periods of oral mucositis. This treatment would require education for the healthcare team as well as added cost for the use of the technology.