Treatment of chemotherapy-induced oral mucositis with light-emitting diode

Luigi Corti, Vanna Chiarion-Sileni, Savina Aversa, Alberto Ponzoni, Raimondo D'Arcais, Stefano Pagnutti, Davide Fiore, Guido Sotti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The aim of this study was to assess the clinical effectiveness of phototherapy with noncoherent light in the alleviation of chemotherapy-induced mucositis in patients with metastatic cancer. Background Data: Mucositis occurs in more than 40% of chemotherapy-treated patients, significantly reducing the quality of their lives. Many different interventions have been evaluated to reduce oral mucositis. Recently, good results have been achieved by phototherapy with photoradiation, a technique which has virtually no side effects. Some clinical results seem to indicate that also phototherapy through noncoherent light emissions which can be produced by less expensive light sources such as light-emitting diodes (LEDs) may be effective. However, until now, no studies have been available on this subject. Methods: Twelve patients, aged from 34 to 82, selected on the basis of a diagnosis of chemotherapy-induced oral mucositis, were treated intra-orally through a noncoherent LED emission, wavelength 645 ± 15 nm, 7.8 mW, fluence 0.99 J/cm2, three times a day for 1 week. Mucositis was scored daily using the Daily Mucositis Index (DMI), a scale that evaluates the disease evolution through 16 different items. The primary end-point assessed was the time to recovery, from the start of LED treatment, compared to a nonrandomized control group of 12 patients with comparable stomatitis. Results: The median healing time, expressed as the DMI decrease, was 1.7 (range 1-2.8) and, in seven LED-treated patients, was shorter than in the control group. The healing rate (measured as the ratio of the DMIs) increased from 117% to 164%. Conclusion: This pilot study shows that LED treatment is safe and capable of reducing the duration of chemotherapy-induced mucositis. This result needs to be confirmed in an adequate phase III study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-213
Number of pages7
JournalPhotomedicine and Laser Surgery
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Surgery
  • Dermatology
  • Oral Surgery


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