Exploring the role of “Glycerine plus Honey” in delaying chemoradiation induced oral mucositis in head and neck cancers

Anshuma Bansal, Sushmita Ghoshal, Birender Kumar Yadav, Amit Bahl


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to assess the efficacy of adding “Glycerine plus Honey” to standard management protocol, in terms of time to delay in oral mucositis ≥ grade 2.

Methods: Hundred patients of oral cavity and oropharangeal cancers, planned for concurrent chemoradiation (Dose: 60–66 Gy/30-33 fractions) were randomized 1:1 to receive either home-made remedy made of “Glycerine plus Honey” added to the standard management protocol to prevent mucositis versus standard treatment alone. CTCAE v 4 (Common toxicity criteria for adverse events) was used for assessing oral mucositis scores weekly. Chi square test was used to compare mucositis scores, weight loss, opioid use, ryles tube feeding, and unplanned treatment breaks in each cohort. Independent T-test was used to compare means to assess the effect of treatment in delaying mucositis ≥ grade 2.

Results: Significantly higher number of patients developed grade ≥ 2 mucositis in control arm [n = 43 (86%)] compared to study arm [n = 30 (60%)] (p = 0.003). CTCAE scores favored Glycerine plus honey at week 4, and on last day of radiotherapy. Whereas, time to first occurrence of oral mucositis grade ≥ 2 was 23.17 (± 1.01) days for study arm [radiation dose 31.67 Gy (± 1.44)], it was 20.65 (± 0.8) days for control arm [radiation dose 28.14 Gy (± 1.16)] (p = 0.05). Study patients had lesser weight loss (2.76 kg) than control subjects (3.9 kg) with p = 0.008. There were significantly higher number of patients in control arm who required opioid analgesia, ryles tube insertion and had unplanned treatment breaks, compared to study arm.

Conclusion: Glycerine plus honey demonstrated superiority in delaying oral mucositis, and the combination is safe and well tolerable. 


Mucositis, Glycerine, Honey, Head and neck cancer, Chemoradiation

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14319/ijcto.51.3

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