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Support Care Cancer ; 2020 Jan 03.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31900618


OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the occurrence and severity of oral complications, number of radiotherapy (RT) interruptions and quality of life (QoL) in a population of head and neck cancer patients receiving a preventive oral care program (POCP) and photobiomodulation therapy (PBMT). METHODS: Prospective cohort of 61 head and neck cancer patients undergoing radiochemotherapy were monitored and submitted to a POCP that included oral hygiene and plaque control, removal of infection foci, dental restorations, periodontal therapy, fluorotherapy, oral hydration, and denture removal at night, combined with daily PBMT. Outcomes included occurrence of adverse effects such as severity of oral mucositis (OM) and oral symptoms (pain, solid and fluid dysphagia, odynophagia, dysgeusia), quality of life impacts, and interruptions of radiotherapy (RT) due to symptoms. Disease-free and overall survival rates were evaluated. RESULTS: There was a significant improvement in oral health conditions between initial assessment and the two longitudinal assessments (p < 0.05), which indicates that the POCP was effective for plaque control and reduction of gingival inflammation. All participants were free of OM at the beginning of the RT regimen and only 45.9% after the 7th session, and few patients ranked the highest score of OM. For all symptoms related to OM, there was a progressive increase of severity until the 14th RT session, which remained stable until the completion of the RT regimen. The same effect was observed for the quality of life measures. Discontinued RT due to OM occurred in only three patients (5%), and the maximum duration was 10 days. The overall survival rate was 77% and disease-free survival was 73.8%. Lower survival time was observed for patients with no response to RT (p < 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: The findings of this study suggest a positive effect of an oral preventive care program for head and neck cancer patients submitted to RT. The PBMT associated with a rigorous POCP resulted in satisfactory control of oral adverse effects, reduction of quality of life impacts, and interruption of RT regimen due to severe OM.