Thursday, May 22, 2008

Honey Effective in Reducing Radiochemotherapy-Induced Mucositis

Honey as Topical Prophylaxis Against Radiochemotherapy-Induced Mucositis in Head and Neck Cancer
The Journal of Laryngology & Otology, 19 May 2008

Aim: To evaluate the efficacy of pure natural honey as prophylaxis against radiochemotherapy-induced mucositis, through clinical scoring of oral and oropharyngeal mucositis, and culturing of pathogenic oral and oropharyngeal microbes.

Patients and methods: The study was done in Assiut University Hospital, Egypt, between January 2005 and July 2006. Forty patients diagnosed with head and neck cancer were entered into the trial. Enrolled patients were randomised to either the treatment group, receiving concomitant chemotherapy and radiotherapy (with a significant area of directly visible oral and/or oropharyngeal mucosa included in the radiation fields) plus prior topical application of pure natural honey, or the control group, receiving concomitant chemotherapy and radiotherapy without honey. Patients were evaluated clinically every week to assess development of radiation mucositis. Aerobic cultures and candida colonisation assessment were undertaken, via oral and oropharyngeal swabs, prior to and at the completion of irradiation, and when infection was evident.

Results: In the treatment group, no patients developed grade four mucositis and only three patients (15 per cent) developed grade three mucositis. In the control group, 13 patients (65 per cent) developed grade three or four mucositis.

Conclusion: This study shows that prophylactic use of pure natural honey was effective in reducing mucositis resulting from radiochemotherapy in patients with head and neck cancer.

No comments: