Evaluation of preventive laser photobiomodulation in patients with head and neck cancer undergoing radiochemotherapy: Laser in patients with head and neck cancer

Head and Neck Cancer

Dantas JBL, et al. Spec Care Dentist 2020.


AIMS: This study aimed to evaluate the effect of laser photobiomodulation in the prevention of oral mucositis (OM), salivary hypofunction and referred pain in patients with head and neck cancer.

METHODS AND RESULTS: This randomized clinical study divided patients into two groups: the laser group (LG, n = 30) and the control group (CG, n = 24). The LG (InGaAlP, 660 nm, 86.7 mW, 2 J/cm2 ) participated in the preventive protocol, while the CG underwent a simulated procedure without light emission. The degree of OM, salivary flow, and referred pain were evaluated at five different periods of radiotherapy. Both groups showed a significant increase in the degree of OM (P < .01). Regarding OM, salivary flow, and oral pain, there were no significant differences between the groups.

CONCLUSIONS: The laser photobiomodulation protocol used in this study was not effective in preventing radiochemotherapy-induced OM, salivary hypofunction, and referred pain in patients with head and neck cancer. Notably, although the development of OM did not differ significantly according to the use of laser therapy, the severity of oral mucositis was reduced in patients who underwent laser therapy compared to that in patients who did not.