Results of a randomized controlled phase III trial: efficacy of polyphenol-containing cystus® tea mouthwash solution for the reduction of mucositis in head and neck cancer patients undergoing external beam radiotherapy

Head and Neck Cancer

Strahlenther Onkol. 2020 Sep 24. doi: 10.1007/s00066-020-01684-y. Online ahead of print.


PURPOSE: To determine the effect of Cystus® tea (Naturprodukte Dr. Pandalis GmbH & Co. KG) as mouthwash compared to sage tea on oral mucositis in patients undergoing radio(chemo)therapy for head and neck cancer.

METHODS: In this randomized, prospective phase III study, 60 head and neck cancer patients with primary or postoperative radio(chemo)therapy were included between 04/2012 and 06/2014. They received either sage or Cystus® tea for daily mouthwash under therapy. Mucositis was scored twice a week following the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group and the European Organization for Research and Treatment Cancer (RTOG/EORTC) scoring system. Dental parameters were also recorded. Statistical evaluation of the primary endpoint was performed using t‑test and log rank test.

RESULTS: Data from 57 patients could be evaluated. Patient characteristics showed no significant difference between the two groups (n = 27 sage; n = 30 Cystus®). A total of 55 patients received the prescribed dose (60-66 Gy postoperative; 70-76.8 Gy primary). Mucositis grade 3 was observed in 23 patients (n = 11 sage; n = 12 Cystus®) and occurred between day 16 and 50 after start of therapy. There was no significant difference between the two groups in latency (p = 0.75) and frequency (p = 0.85) of the occurrence of mucositis grade 3. The self-assessment of the oral mucosa and the tolerability of the tea also showed no significant differences. Occurrence of dental pathologies appeared to increase over time after radiotherapy.

CONCLUSION: Cystus® and sage tea have a similar effect on the occurrence of radiation-induced mucositis regarding latency and incidence. Cystus® tea mouthwash solution is tolerated well and can be applied in addition to intensive oral care and hygiene along with the application of fluorides.