Ertekin, M.V., Koc, M., Karslioglu, I., & Sezen, O. (2003). Zinc sulfate in the prevention of radiation-induced oropharyngeal mucositis: A prospective, placebo-controlled, randomized study. International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics, 58(1), 167–174.
Zinc sulfate (50 mg zinc) capsules TID at 8 hr intervals. Began day 1 of radiation, during RT, and for 6 weeks after.
Oral hygiene for all patients: drink water, brush with soft brush after each meal and with mouth jellies, including fluoride. Patients were instructed to avoid alcoholic drinks, not smoke cigarettes, not drink liquids that were too hot or too cold, not eat excessive spiced or sour foods, and to not eat hard foods.
The study was comprised of 30 patients, 15 zinc, 12 placebo (3 excluded), age 18-71, with a median age of 54 years.
Prospective, randomized placebo-controlled study
Assessed by two radiation MDs using RTOG morbidity scoring
13 of 15 zinc patients developed mucositis; however, no patientss developed grade 4 mucositis.
Gr 1 – 8 pts versus 0
Gr 2 – 5 pts versus 4
Gr 3 – 0 pts versus 8
Gr 4 – 0 pts versus 0
Greater severity p = 0.05
Mucositis developed later in the zinc group (p < 0.05) and at a higher RT dose (p < 0.01)
At six weeks, only one patient in the zinc group had mucositis, while 10 of 12 patients in the placebo group had mucositis, p < 0.01.
Local anesthetic solutions and analgesic agents were given to patients for pain.
Very small study
Need to ensure validity of MD evaluation and other agents used.