Comparative prevention potential of 10 mouthwashes on intolerable oral mucositis in cancer patients: A Bayesian network analysis

Oral Oncol. 2020 May 6;107:104751. doi: 10.1016/j.oraloncology.2020.104751. Online ahead of print.


Background: There is a wide variety of mouthwashes currently available for the prevention of intolerable oral mucositis (OM) onset. Because of a lack of evidence from head-to-head randomized controlled trials (RCTs), the relative effects of these mouthwashes in intolerable OM patients remain unclear. This study compared the preventive effect of ten mouthwashes in intolerable OM.

Methods: A literature search was performed of the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), EMBASE, and MEDLINE (PubMed) databases. Reports published from 1990 to 2019 focusing on mouthwashes for preventing OM were identified. Authors assessed the studies' risk of bias in accordance with the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions, and followed the PRISMA for Network Meta-Analyses Statement. Authors estimated summary odds ratios (ORs) using pairwise and Bayesian network meta-analysis with random effects.

Results: Thirty-six RCTs, with a total of 2594 patients, were included in the present study. Bayesian network analysis showed that honey (Odd Ratio [OR] 0.17, 95%CI 0.09 to 0.30), chamomile (OR 0.09, 95% CI 0.01 to 0.52), curcumin (OR 0.23, 95% CI 0.08 to 0.67) and benzydamine (OR 0.26, 95% CI 0.12 to 0.54) mouthwashes were superior to placebo. Honey mouthwashes were more efficacious than chlorhexidine (OR 0.34, 95% CI 0.12 to 0.92), sucralfate (OR 0.26, 95% CI 0.06 to 0.96) and povidone-iodine (OR 0.30, 95% CI 0.11 to 0.82) mouthwashes. Other mouthwashes showed no significant differences.

Conclusions: According to the analysis of rank probabilities, chamomile, honey, curcumin and benzydamine mouthwashes may be the most advantageous in terms of the prevention of intolerable OM.

Keywords: Cancer; Chemo/radiotherapy; Mouthwashes; Network Meta-Analysis; Oral Mucositis.