Making the hardest days easier – photobiomodulation for treatment of oral mucositis

Making the hardest days easier – photobiomodulation for treatment of oral mucositis

Oral mucositis is a common side effect of high-dose chemotherapy or radiotherapy, leaving many patients unable to eat, drink, or swallow and consequently requiring tube feeding.

Until recently, there had been no satisfactory treatment or method of prevention. However, Photobiomodulation (PBM), a light therapy treatment proven safe and effective by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), is now widely used across the NHS with incredible results.

Jenny Gale, a head and neck clinical nurse specialist at East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Trust, said: “It can really make your mouth sore, and it hurts to swallow, which can make eating and drinking difficult, as well as impacting your general wellbeing.”

She added: “PBM is completely painless and very simple to carry out; most patients can do it themselves.

“Evidence shows patients need less pain relief when they’ve had PBM, and they generally cope with their treatment better. It’s really exciting that we are offering it in our hospitals now.”

The breakthrough allowing NHS adoption of PBM is due to the development of the THOR LED lollipop, which patients use by placing it in their mouth for 60 seconds on the tongue and 60 seconds under the tongue.

Photobiomodulation is a low-intensity light therapy that stimulates mitochondria to produce more energy (ATP) and reduce inflammation, rapidly reducing pain and improving healing rates.

It can be used prophylactically to prevent the incidence and severity of oral mucositis or therapeutically after mucositis has developed.

Both the Christie and Leeds Cancer Centres found that PBM reduced morphine prescriptions by 63 per cent and 45 per cent, respectively, in their audits and reduced hospital bed days by 88.7 per cent at Christie and hospitalisation by 89 per cent at Leeds.

There is a rare opportunity to attend the World Association for Photobiomodulation conference, which will be held in London this year from August 23 to 25, where many NHS users of PBM will be presenting their data and discussing it one-on-one with delegates.

Visit for details.

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