JUL 12, 2019 7:51 AM PDT

Will Light Therapy Edge Out Opioids for Cancer Mouth Pain?

WRITTEN BY: Julia Travers

Photobiomodulation therapy, a form of low-dose light therapy, has now been found to be one of the best ways to treat the pain of oral mucositis, the mouth sores that can accompany cancer therapies. These ulcers are so unpleasant and painful that they can sometimes delay the progression of cancer treatment or require hospitalization on their own.

 

The latest (July 2019) guidelines from the International Society of Oral Oncology (ISOO) and Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer (MASCC) were shared in the journal Supportive Care in Cancer. They recommend low-dose light therapy to prevent oral mucositis brought on by stem cell transplants or radiation therapy for neck and head cancer, with or without chemo. According to the University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine, these new recommendations update the earlier guidelines from 2013, which recommended light therapy “as an optional therapy in specific cancer patient populations and settings.” For this light therapy, there were no major short-term side effects reported. To reach these findings, a team of global experts sorted hundreds of research papers and then reviewed select dozens of studies.

 

collage, mouth and reflecting light

“This is a major milestone for the field, and we are confident it will set a clear path for several exciting clinical applications for photobiomodulation therapy from concussions and wound healing to exciting new work with regenerative medicine and stem cells,” Dr. Praveen Arany, assistant professor of oral biology at the University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine and co-corresponding author on the paper, said. Arany is president of the World Association for photobiomoduLation Therapy (WALT). Arany also noted that photobiomodulation therapy might be an alternative for opioids, which are often prescribed for oral mucositis. A 2018 congressional hearing before the House Science, Space and Technology Committee invited a panel of experts to discuss photobiomodulation’s potential in health care and as a way to counter opioid dependence.

Learn more in the video below.

 

 

Article source: University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine

 
 
About the Author
  • Julia Travers is a writer, artist and teacher. She frequently covers science, tech, conservation and the arts. She enjoys solutions journalism. Find more of her work at jtravers.journoportfolio.com.
You May Also Like
OCT 05, 2020
Health & Medicine
Cannabis Chemotherapy Trial Shows Encouraging Phase II Results
OCT 05, 2020
Cannabis Chemotherapy Trial Shows Encouraging Phase II Results
Even with the best anti-nausea medications one in three patients receiving chemotherapy experiences vomiting, and about ...
OCT 05, 2020
Cancer
Fighting mitochondrial terminal exhaustion
OCT 05, 2020
Fighting mitochondrial terminal exhaustion
New findings reported in Nature Immunology highlight how the tumor microenvironment attacks the mitochondria of T l ...
OCT 13, 2020
Immunology
Early Tips For Cell & Gene Therapy Regulatory Compliance
OCT 13, 2020
Early Tips For Cell & Gene Therapy Regulatory Compliance
Cell and gene therapies hold great promise for improved health outcomes. Now is the time to advance life-saving research ...
OCT 23, 2020
Cancer
#BCSM helps physicians understand patients' needs outside the clinical setting
OCT 23, 2020
#BCSM helps physicians understand patients' needs outside the clinical setting
A new study from UCLA published in the Journal of Patient-Centered Research and Review suggests that social media can be ...
OCT 26, 2020
Cancer
Investigating the Receptor Protein FPR1 in Brain Cancer
OCT 26, 2020
Investigating the Receptor Protein FPR1 in Brain Cancer
Amongst the more common targets for cancer therapies are cell surface receptors. These receptors are proteins – us ...
NOV 23, 2020
Cancer
Platelets May Protect Cancer Against PD-1 Therapies
NOV 23, 2020
Platelets May Protect Cancer Against PD-1 Therapies
One of cancer’s greatest tools is its ability to manipulate the immune system. Many cancer therapies have arisen t ...
Loading Comments...