Protective effect of alpha-tocopherol in head and neck cancer radiation-induced mucositis: A double-blind randomized trial

Authors

  • Paulo Renato Ferreira MD, PhD,

    1. Department of Radiation Oncology, Hospital Sao Lucas da PUC, Pontificia Universidade Catolica do Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS), Av. Ipiranga 6690, Porto Alegre, RS 90610-000, Brazil.
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  • James Freitas Fleck MD, PhD,

    1. Department of Clinical Oncology, Hospital de Clinicas de Porto Alegre, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil
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  • Ada Diehl MD,

    1. Department of Cytopathology, Hospital de Clinicas de Porto Alegre, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil
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  • Daniela Barletta MD,

    1. Department of Radiation Oncology, Hospital Sao Lucas da PUC, Pontificia Universidade Catolica do Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS), Av. Ipiranga 6690, Porto Alegre, RS 90610-000, Brazil.
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  • Aroldo Braga-Filho MD,

    1. Department of Radiation Oncology, Hospital Sao Lucas da PUC, Pontificia Universidade Catolica do Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS), Av. Ipiranga 6690, Porto Alegre, RS 90610-000, Brazil.
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  • Antonio Barletta MD,

    1. Department of Radiation Oncology, Hospital Sao Lucas da PUC, Pontificia Universidade Catolica do Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS), Av. Ipiranga 6690, Porto Alegre, RS 90610-000, Brazil.
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  • Ligia Ilha MD

    1. Department of Radiation Oncology, Hospital Sao Lucas da PUC, Pontificia Universidade Catolica do Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS), Av. Ipiranga 6690, Porto Alegre, RS 90610-000, Brazil.
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  • This work has received IRB approval from Hospital Sao Lucas da PUC and Hospital de Clinicas de Porto Alegre.

  • Presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 38th Annual Meeting in Orlando, FL, on May 2002.

Abstract

Background.

the study was designed to test whether vitamin E (VE) provides oral mucosal protection in patients with irradiated cancers of the head and neck.

Methods.

Fifty-four patients with cancer of the oral cavity and oropharynx were randomly assigned to rinse the oral cavity in an oil solution containing either VE or placebo before every conventional fraction of 2 Gy and again 8 to 12 hours later during the 5 to 7 weeks of radiotherapy (RT).

Results.

Thirty-six events/167 patient-weeks (21.6%) and 54 events/161 patient-weeks (33.5%) of symptomatic mucositis were observed in VE and placebo groups, respectively (p = .038). VE reduced the risk by 36%. Subjective data at the end of the treatment revealed that VE decreased pain grades 2 to 3 during RT (3 of 28 patients vs 14 of 26 patients, p = .0001). No significant influence was detected in survival.

Conclusion.

VE decreased the incidence of symptomatic oral radio-induced mucositis in patients with cancer of the oropharynx and oral cavity. © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck26: XXX–XXX, 2004

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