Clarkson, J.E., Worthington, H.V., Furness, S., McCabe, M., Khalid, T., & Meyer, S. (2010). Interventions for treating oral mucositis for patients with cancer receiving treatment. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 8, CD001973.doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD001973.pub4
To assess the effectiveness of interventions for treatment of oral mucositis or its associated pain for patients receiving chemotherapy or radiation therapy
The final assessment incorporated 32 studies. Out of an initial 95 eligible studies, 64 were excluded because of study design issues, protocol violations, lack of useable data, or no relevant outcomes.
Treatment of mucositis
Summary of data from single trials showed the following interventions to demonstrate statistically significant benefit (p < 0.05).
Other interventions for treatment of mucositis evaluated included chlorhexadine versus salt and soda, Gelclair verus sucralfate and mucaine,”Magic” mouthwash versus salt and soda, sucralfate versus placebo and versus salt and soda, and tetrachlorodecaoxide.
Management of pain with mucositis
The following interventions demonstrated statistically significant benefit in managing pain (p < 0.05).
The lack of independent duplication of studies investigating the same intervention limits the strength of evidence and ability to generalize results.
Most studies reviewed had small sample sizes and may have been underpowered to demonstrate significant differences in outcomes.
Different scoring systems for mucositis were used, and, in some studies, the method of scoring was not defined.
The need for further well-designed trials to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions continues.
Adoption of standard clinical outcome measures should be considered, including patient-based measures and inclusion of the cost of interventions.