Efficacy of low-level laser therapy as an auxiliary tool for management of acute side effects of head and neck radiotherapy

Wilfredo Alejandro González-Arriagada*, Lara Maria Alencar Ramos, Marco Aurélio Carvalho Andrade, Marcio Ajudarte Lopes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Introduction: Head and neck radiotherapy (HNRT) is associated with acute and chronic side effects, some of which result in great morbidity. The aim of this study was to determine the efficacy of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) as an oral care tool for the management of these effects. Materials and Methods: Clinical information was collected from 216 patients undergoing HNRT; these individuals were divided into a control group without laser therapy (n = 108) and a laser group (n = 108). The intervention of the laser group was performed in a different period to the control group and was applied three times weekly. All data were analyzed by a descriptive statistical analysis. Results: The presence and severity of mucositis were similar between the groups. However, the laser group showed a lower frequency of interruption of oncologic therapy related to mucositis (p = 0.030) and the need of nasogastric tube nutrition during the HNRT (p = 0.027). In addition, trismus was less intense in the laser group (p = 0.023). Conclusions: The introduction of laser therapy in the supportive care for patients undergoing HNRT showed benefits for the patient and the medical system, reducing morbidity and costs associated with side-effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-122
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Cosmetic and Laser Therapy
Issue number2
StatePublished - 17 Feb 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • adverse effects
  • Head and neck cancer
  • oral mucositis
  • radiation
  • xerostomia


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