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The effect of clove-based herbal mouthwash on radiation-induced oral mucositis in patients with head and neck cancer: a single-blind randomized preliminary study

Authors Kong M, Hwang D, Yoon SW, Kim J

Received 18 March 2016

Accepted for publication 1 June 2016

Published 22 July 2016 Volume 2016:9 Pages 4533—4538


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Professor Min Li

Moonkyoo Kong,1 Deok-Sang Hwang,2 Seong Woo Yoon,3 Jinsung Kim4

1Department of Radiation Oncology, Kyung Hee University Medical Center, Kyung Hee University School of Medicine, 2Department of Korean Medicine Obstetrics & Gynecology, Kyung Hee University Medical Center, 3Department of Korean Internal Medicine, Korean Medicine Cancer Center, Kyung Hee University Hospital at Gangdong, 4Department of Korean Internal Medicine, Kyung Hee University Medical Center, College of Korean Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Republic of Korea

Purpose: This study was performed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of clove-based herbal mouthwash in ameliorating radiation-induced oral mucositis in patients with head and neck cancer.
Methods: Fourteen patients were prospectively enrolled in this study and randomized to either an experimental group or a control group. The patients of the experimental group swished their mouths with a clove-based herbal mouthwash during radiotherapy (RT), while the patients of the control group swished with clear water. The primary end point of this study was incidence of radiation-induced oral mucositis. The secondary end points were time to onset of radiation-induced oral mucositis, duration of radiation-induced oral mucositis, incidence of supplemental nutrition through feeding tube, maximum pain score, body weight loss, incidence of RT interruption, and duration of RT interruption.
Results: The use of clove-based herbal mouthwash shortened the duration of grade ≥2 mucositis (24.3 days vs 37.1 days, P=0.044) and reduced body weight loss during RT (3.1% vs 7.4%, P=0.023) compared with clear water. The use of clove-based herbal mouthwash also reduced the incidence of grade 3 mucositis (28.6% vs 57.1%), supplemental nutrition (0% vs 28.6%), and RT interruption (14.3% vs 28.6%), and reduced the duration of grade 3 mucositis (5.1 days vs 17.7 days) and RT interruption (1 days vs 8.5 days). In addition, clove-based herbal mouthwash delayed the time to onset of mucositis (26.6 days vs 24.5 days) and reduced the maximum pain score (4.1 vs 4.9). However, these differences were not statistically significant.
Conclusion: Although we could not find significant differences in some end points, this single-blind randomized study showed that a clove-based herbal mouthwash can have a potentially beneficial effect on minimizing or preventing radiation-induced oral mucositis in patients with head and neck cancer. To confirm the results of our study, well-designed randomized studies with large sample sizes will be required.

Keywords: radiotherapy, mucositis, head and neck cancer, clove-based herbal mouthwash

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