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Amelioration of oral mucositis pain by NASA near-infrared light-emitting diodes in bone marrow transplant patients. Support Care Cancer 2012 Jul;20(7):1405-15



Pubmed ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-84863981422   39 Citations


PURPOSE: This study seeks to investigate the use of extra-orally applied near-infrared phototherapy for the reduction of oral pain secondary to chemotherapy- and radiation therapy-induced mucositis in adult and pediatric hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) patients.

METHODS: Eighty HSCT patients were divided into regular (R) and low (L) risk groups, then to experimental (E) and placebo (P) groups, resulting in four groups (ER, EL, PR, PL). Experimental subjects received 670 (± 10) nm gallium-aluminum-arsinide light-emitting diode device for 80 s at ~50 mW/cm(2) energy density and power exposure of 4 J/cm(2). Placebo patients received the same procedures, but with a placebo phototherapy (identical device but <5 mW/cm(2) 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 three 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 < 0.05) at day +14 when graded via the WHO criteria. The ER and EL patients were improved in almost all other categories and assessment scales, but the differences were not statistically significant.

CONCLUSION: Phototherapy demonstrated a significant reduction in patient-reported pain as measured by the WHO criteria in this patient population included in this study. Improvement trends were noted in most other assessment measurements.

Author List

Hodgson BD, Margolis DM, Salzman DE, Eastwood D, Tarima S, Williams LD, Sande JE, Vaughan WP, Whelan HT


Brian Hodgson DDS Assistant Professor in the Developmental Sciences-Dental School department at Marquette University
David A. Margolis MD Interim Chair, Professor in the Pediatrics department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Sergey S. Tarima PhD Associate Professor in the Institute for Health and Equity department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Harry T. Whelan MD Professor in the Neurology department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Antineoplastic Agents
Child, Preschool
Double-Blind Method
Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation
Lasers, Semiconductor
Low-Level Light Therapy
Middle Aged
Pain Management
Pain Measurement
Radiation Injuries
Risk Factors
Treatment Outcome
Young Adult
jenkins-FCD Prod-486 e3098984f26de787f5ecab75090d0a28e7f4f7c0