Background: The aim of this study was to review the available literature and define clinical practice guidelines for the use of laser and other light therapies for the prevention and treatment of oral mucositis.
Methods: A systematic review was conducted by the Mucositis Study Group of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer/International Society of Oral Oncology. The body of evidence for each intervention, in each cancer treatment setting, was assigned an evidence level. Based on the evidence level, one of the following three guideline determinations was possible: recommendation, suggestion, and no guideline possible.
Results: A new recommendation was made for low-level laser (wavelength at 650 nm, power of 40 mW, and each square centimeter treated with the required time to a tissue energy dose of 2 J/cm(2) (2 s/point)) for the prevention of oral mucositis in adult patients receiving hematopoietic stem cell transplantation conditioned with high-dose chemotherapy, with or without total body irradiation. A new suggestion was made for low-level laser (wavelength around 632.8 nm) for the prevention of oral mucositis in patients undergoing radiotherapy, without concomitant chemotherapy, for head and neck cancer. No guideline was possible in other populations and for other light sources due to insufficient evidence.
Conclusions: The increasing evidence in favor of low-level laser therapy allowed for the development of two new guidelines supporting this modality in the populations listed above. Evidence for other populations was also generally encouraging over a range of wavelengths and intensities. However, additional well-designed research is needed to evaluate the efficacy of laser and other light therapies in various cancer treatment settings.