This was a prospective, randomized, open, crossover study comparing a mucin-based artificial saliva (Saliva Orthana) with a low-tack, sugar-free chewing gum (Freedent) in the management of xerostomia in patients with advanced cancer. The conclusions of this study were that both Saliva Orthana and Freedent are effective in the management of xerostomia in patients with advanced cancer, that both Saliva Orthana and Freedent cause some side-effects in this group of patients, and that patients with cancer think that chewing gum is an acceptable treatment. Sixty-nine per cent of the patients preferred the chewing gum to the artificial saliva. Furthermore, the chewing gum scored better than the artificial saliva on every measure of efficacy. However, none of these results reached statistical significance.