Hong, J. P., Lee, S. W., Song, S. Y., Ahn, S. D., Shin, S. S., Choi, E. K., & Kim, J. H. (2009). Recombinant human epidermal growth factor treatment of radiation-induced severe oral mucositis in patients with head and neck malignancies. European Journal of Cancer Care, 18(6), 636-641. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2354.2008.00971.x
Evaluate the wound healing effects of RhEGF in patients with radiation-induced oral mucositis.
RhEGF 25 mcg/day was applied topically to the oral cavity twice daily for seven days.
The study was comprised of 11 patients, with an age range of 34-70 years.
Females: 2, Males: 9
Diagnosis Information: Nine patients with head and neck cancer, two patients with lymphoma
Other Key Characteristics: Concurrent chemo/RT five patients. Patients had severe mucositis at the point of study entry.
Single site: Seoul, Korea
Prospective trial--pilot study
Unaided oral and soft palate evaluation was done on day seven.
Oral mucositis was scored according to RTOG criteria.
All patients showed improvements in oral mucositis, with decreased mean RTOG grades. Two patients with grade 4 improved to grade 3; two patients with grade 4 improved to grade 2; five patients with grade 3 improved to grade 2; and two patients with grade 3 improved to grade 1. None of the patients had to interrupt RT because of acute mucositis.
Topical treatment with RhEGF has a therapeutic effect on RT-induced oral mucositis.
Small sample size (pilot study). Mucositis evaluated by unaided eye and restricted or oral and soft palate-may have not been consistent grading if done by different individuals. Sample was too varied, including nasopharyngeal tumors, oropharynx tumors, and hypopharynx tumors and lymphoma. These all differ greatly in the treatment techniques, amount of radiation given, and severity of reaction.
More data are needed to determine effectiveness. Topical applications have limitations as far as adherence to the intended amount of drug and effective coverage of mucosa with medication. Topical application may be easier to apply, but not for everyone, and depending on the taste, an aversion to the taste may occur over time.