Lin, L.C., Que, J., Lin, L.K., & Lin, F.C. (2006). Zinc supplementation to improve mucositis and dermatitis in patients after radiotherapy for head-and-neck cancers: A double-blind, randomized study. International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics, 65(3), 745–750.
Zinc – 25 mg versus placebo, 3x/day for 2 months
Patients started capsules on first day of RT and continued until completion of RT.
The study was comprised of 100 patients, 50 zinc, 50 placebo, with a mean age of 50–51 years.
RT dose 180–200 cGy daily in five weekly fractions
41-42% patients receiving RT + chemo
Jan 2003 – Aug 2004
Double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study
RTOG acute morbidity scoring
Serum zinc levels were higher in the zinc group: 20.5 versus –1.5 (p = 0.02).
Grade 2 mucositis appeared earlier in the placebo group (p = 0.017 and larger proportion of patients).
Grade 3 mucositis also earlier and larger proportion of patients, p = 0.0003.
Results not as significant for patients receiving concurrent chemo.
Oral analgesics prescribed for pain.
Recommend continuing treatment out past end of RT as patients in both groups had similar recoveries.
Need to determine optimal dose.