Clinical use of photobiomodulation for the prevention and treatment of oral mucositis: the real-life experience of MASCC/ISOO members

Ragda Abdalla-Aslan, Yehuda Zadik, Orna Intrator, Elena Bardellini, Karis Kin Fong Cheng, Paolo Bossi, Noam Yarom, Sharon Elad*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim: To assess clinical use and patient outcome of photobiomodulation (PBM) for oral mucositis (OM) prevention and treatment among specialized practitioners. Methods: A poll was emailed to the members of the Mucositis Study Group of MASCC/ISOO. The PBM parameters used by the respondents were analyzed using exploratory statistical methods to identify combinations of PBM parameters (patterns) that characterize the variance in the protocols (principal component analysis). Results: Responses were received from 101 MSG members, with 78 providing analyzable data. Most of the responders were dental practitioners or oral medicine specialists. PBM was used by 59% of the responders for OM or targeted therapy stomatitis. Technical parameters varied widely. Most responders used wavelengths ∼650 nm intra-orally. The spot-size and distance from the tissue were the main factors driving the variation. All PBM users noted that PBM relieved pain, either immediately or a delayed effect. High likelihood of pain relief (measured as responder’s report of pain relief in 67–100% of patients) was reported by 22% and 19% of PBM users for immediate pain relief and delayed pain relief, respectively. The most common reported barriers to using PBM were financial considerations, time constraints, lack of training or experience and concern about the potential for malignant transformation or increased risk of cancer recurrence. Conclusions: The use of PBM for OM prevention or treatment is in early phases of adoption in practices, facing some obstacles to implement it. A wide variation in technical parameters was found. Nonetheless, responses indicate that PBM provided pain relief.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number481
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Issue number8
StatePublished - 21 Jul 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.


  • Cancer
  • Effective
  • Laser
  • Oral mucositis
  • Pain
  • Photobiomodulation
  • Prevention
  • Treatment


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