Lambrecht, M., Mercier, C., Geussens, Y., & Nuyts, S. (2013). The effect of a supersaturated calcium phosphate mouth rinse on the development of oral mucositis in head and neck cancer patients treated with (chemo)radiation: A single-center, randomized, prospective study of a calcium phosphate mouth rinse + standard of care versus standard of care. Supportive Care in Cancer, 21, 2663–2670.doi: 10.1007/s00520-013-1829-0
To investigate whether the addition of a neutral, supersaturated, calcium phosphate (CP) mouth rinse benefits the severity and duration of acute mucositis in patients with head and neck cancer treated with (chemo)radiation
Patients in group A were instructed to use caphosol mouth rinse twice daily with 15 ml solution for one minute plus standard care. Patients in group B were instructed to use standard care consisting of gargling with 15 ml of “magic mouth wash” (hydrocortisone, lidocaine, nystatin, propylene glycol, sodium carboxymethylcellulose, aqua admixture) up to six times per day, swallowing one time out of two. Two experienced physicians conducted visual inspection of the oral cavity and visualized oropharyns weekly until two to seven weeks after completion or until mucositis grade 1 or 0.
PHASE OF CARE: Active antitumor treatment
No significant differences were found in grade, time of onset, or duration of peak mucositis between groups. Fewer patients in the study arm experienced grade 3 or higher mucositis (59% versus 71%). Mean time to development of mucositis was 28.6 days in the study group versus 28.7 days in the control group (p = .96). Duration of mucositis was 22.7 days in the study group versus 24.6 days in the control group (p = .62). No significant reduction in the need for analgesics was found.
An oral solution of neutral CP mouth rinse does not reduce frequency, duration, or severity of oral mucositis or pain in patients treated with (chemo)radiation for head and neck cancer. No evidence supports its standard use.
Mucosal damage continues to be an important and debilitating side effect that warrants continued research.