JUL 12, 2019 07:51 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 and conservation.
You May Also Like
JUL 24, 2019
Cancer
JUL 24, 2019
Cancer Patients Increase Cannabis Use 118 Percent in Nine Years
Between 2005 and 2014, cancer patients increased their use of marijuana/ cannabis 114 percent, according to a new study from researchers at the University ...
JUL 24, 2019
Cancer
JUL 24, 2019
What do parasitic fish have to do with cancer?
Have you ever seen a lamprey up close? If you haven’t, you should probably count your blessings, because these fish are terrifying to look at. With t...
JUL 24, 2019
Cancer
JUL 24, 2019
Free Housing for Cancer Patients: Airbnb's "Game Changer"
Cancer patients who meet certain requirements can now stay in some of Airbnb rentals for free, thanks to an expansion of Airbnb’s Open Homes for Medi...
JUL 24, 2019
Cancer
JUL 24, 2019
Making Cancer Language Patient-Friendly: A Multisector Call to Action
A May 2019 article in The Oncologist calls on members of the medical community to cooperatively create a resource of patient-friendly language for people n...
JUL 24, 2019
Microbiology
JUL 24, 2019
Engineering Bacteria to be Tumor Assassins
Some cutting-edge techniques are being combined to create powerful and innovative therapeutics....
JUL 24, 2019
Cancer
JUL 24, 2019
An Ointment to Stop Skin Cancer Growth
Russian scientists are developing an ointment to undermine the growth of skin cancer, according to a review recently published in Molecules. One in three c...
Loading Comments...