The effect of honey-coated bandages compared with silver-coated bandages on treatment of malignant wounds-a randomized study

Wound Repair Regen. 2011 Nov;19(6):664-70. doi: 10.1111/j.1524-475X.2011.00735.x. Epub 2011 Oct 13.


Malignant wounds (MWs) occur in 5-10% of all cancer patients. Malodor and exudation are the most common side effects. The aim was to determine the influence of honey-coated compared with silver-coated bandages on treatment of MWs. Patients were randomly selected to enter either group A (honey-coated bandages) or group B (silver-coated bandages). Parameters were the following: wound size, cleanliness, malodor, exudation, and wound pain. Digital photographs, visual analog scales (VAS), and wound morphology registration were used for measurement at baseline and following the 4-week intervention. Sixty-nine patients with MWs and advanced cancer, aged 47-90 (median 65.6), were included. No statistically significant difference was noted between the groups with respect to wound size, degree of cleanliness, exudation, malodor, and wound pain. There was a median decrease in wound size of 15 cm² and 8 cm² in group A and B, respectively (p = 0.63). Based on post-intervention pooled data from the groups, improvement was seen in 62% of the participants with respect to wound size and in 58% (n = 69) with respect to cleanliness. The VAS score for malodor (p = 0.007) and exudation (p < 0.0001) improved significantly post-intervention. Patients with reduced wound size had a median survival time of 387 days compared with 134 days in patients with no wound reduction (p = 0.003). The use of honey-coated and silver-coated bandages improved the outcome of MWs. No differences were found between the two regimens. Both types of bandages are recommended for use by patients with MWs containing tumor debris and necrosis.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Bandages*
  • Breast Neoplasms / complications
  • Female
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / complications
  • Honey*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / complications*
  • Neoplasms / mortality
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Polyesters
  • Polyethylenes
  • Silver*
  • Survival Rate
  • Wound Healing*
  • Wounds and Injuries / etiology*
  • Wounds and Injuries / pathology


  • Acticoat
  • Polyesters
  • Polyethylenes
  • Silver