PURPOSE: To investigate the use of extra-orally applied near infra-red (NIR) phototherapy for the reduction of oral pain secondary to chemo- and radiation-therapy induced mucositis in adult and pediatric hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) patients.
METHODS: 80 HSCT were divided into regular (R) and low (L) risk groups, then to experimental (E) and placebo (P) groups, resulting in 4 groups (ER, EL, PR, PL). Experimental subjects received (670 (+/- 10) nm gallium-aluminum-arsinide light emitting diode (LED) device for 80 sec at an ~50mW/cm2 energy density and power exposure of 4J/cm2. Placebo patients received the same procedures, but with a placebo phototherapy (identical device but < 5mW/cm2 energy density). Patients received their respective light therapy once per day starting on the day of the HSCT (Day 0) and continued through Day +14. Blinded evaluators examined the patients 3 times per week and scored their oral tissues and patient-reported pain assessments at each evaluation utilizing the WHO, NCI-CTCAE, and OMAS scales.
RESULTS: Analysis of the mean scores at each observation demonstrate that the extra-oral application of phototherapy resulted in a significant reduction in patient-reported pain between the ER and PR patients (P
CONCLUSION: Phototherapy demonstrated a significant reduction in patient-reported pain as measured by the WHO criteria in this patient population. Improvement trends were noted in most other assessment measurements.
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