To evaluate human placental extract in the treatment of radiation mucositis involving the oral/oropharyngeal region, a prospective randomized study was carried out in 120 patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck from August 1997 to March 1999. The study was conducted in patients receiving radical external radiation therapy, planned for = > 60 Gy/30 F/6 weeks, who developed grade 2 radiation mucositis (patchy mucositis) during radiation treatment. The patients were randomized in two groups of 60 patients each to receive either placentrex treatment (placentrex group) or conventional treatment (control group). Placentrex treatment was given as Inj Placentrex 2 ml by deep intramuscular injection 5 days a week for 15 injections. Conventional treatment given in the control group was disprin gargles and betamethasone oral drops. A subjective decrease in pain was observed in 48/60 (80%) of patients in the placentrex group compared with 22/60 (36.7%) in the control group. The progression to grade 3 radiation mucositis was 24/60 (40%) in the placentrex group compared with 52/60 (86.7%) in the control group. The subjective improvement in difficulty in swallowing was seen in 56/60 (93%) of patients in the placentrex group compared with 9/60 (15%) of patients in the control group. Only one patient in the placentrex group compared with three in the control group required interruption of radiation therapy because of severe radiation reactions. Human placental extract appears to be effective in the management of radiation-induced oral/oropharyngeal mucositis and especially in controlling subjective symptoms.