1517P - Low level laser therapy for the management of cancer therapy-induced oral mucositis: A retrospective analysis in patients with cancer other than he...

Date 28 September 2014
Event ESMO 2014
Session Poster Display session
Topics Supportive Measures
Presenter Lien Holvoet
Citation Annals of Oncology (2014) 25 (suppl_4): iv517-iv541. 10.1093/annonc/mdu356
Authors L. Holvoet1, S. Censabella2, A. Maes2, L. Noé2, D. Luyten1, E.J.R. Joosens1, M. Brosens2, P. Bulens2, J. Mebis1
  • 1Medical Oncology, Jessa Ziekenhuis, 3500 - Hasselt/BE
  • 2Limburgs Oncologisch Centrum, Jessa Ziekenhuis, 3500 - Hasselt/BE



The goal of this retrospective study was to investigate the effectiveness of low level laser therapy (LLLT) in managing oral mucositis (OM) in a large group of patients with cancers other than head and neck cancer.


Cancer patients receiving treatment for malignancies other than of the head and neck and having received LLLT for OM were retrospectively selected from our database. LLLT treatment was provided two times a week, using an AsGA diode laser combined with an infrared laser. Treatment was applied to a maximum of seven sites, depending on the location of OM. The severity of OM, graded by trained nurses according to the WHO scale, had been recorded at the start and the end of LLLT. An OM score was calculated for each patient by summing the WHO grades of all treated areas.


Data from 245 patients with various tumour locations were included in these analyses. Of these, most had breast cancer (40.82%), stage II-III cancer (49%), and a great majority were treated with chemotherapy (74.7%). Mean age was 59.56 years (SD=11.80, median = 59). At the start of LLLT, mean time under cancer therapy was 55.38 days (SD=69.13, median = 33). The mean duration of LLLT was three weeks (mean number of LLLT-sessions=6.11; SD=5.89; median = 4). At the end of LLLT, there was a significant improvement in the severity of OM: 52.7% of the patients presented OM grade 1 and 47.3% OM≥grade 2, against 11.4% and 88.6% at the start of LLLT, resp. (p < .0001). Also, the OM score significantly decreased (p < .0001, M=3.66 at the end vs 6.67 at the start of LLLT). Patients were categorised according to their OM score at the end of LLLT (compared with their scores at the start of LLLT: worsened, unchanged, or improved). In total, OM score improved for 71.4% of the patients.


This retrospective analysis showed that LLLT significantly reduced the severity of oral mucositis in a large group of patients with various cancer types. LLLT is a standard therapy for OM in patients with head and neck cancer. These findings indicate that it might become a standard management for OM in all cancer patients, independently of tumour type, tumour location, or cancer treatment.


All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.