Evaluating the effectiveness of melatonin in prevention of radiation-induced oral mucositis.
Material and methods
A randomized controlled clinical study was conducted on forty head and neck cancer (HNC) patients undergoing radiotherapy at the Department of Clinical Oncology, Alexandria University, Egypt. Patients were assigned equally to either control group who received conventional treatment or test group who received 20 mg of melatonin along with the conventional treatment. All patients were clinically evaluated for oral mucositis severity and pain at three and six weeks after the start of radiotherapy. Additionally, the total antioxidant capacity (TAC) in patients’ saliva samples was assessed at the start of radiotherapy and six weeks later.
92.5% of all patients have experienced oral mucositis with more severity reported in the control group (30%) compared with the test group (5%). Mean pain scores decreased significantly, in the second assessment, in test group rather than the controls. TAC values showed a significant difference between the test and controls with a significant decrease in TAC in the control group.
The administration of melatonin with conventional treatment has reduced severe oral mucositis development. It aided in decreasing pain and hindering the reduction of TAC resulting from radiotherapy among the test group compared with controls.