Background: Mucositis and dermatitis are frequently encountered in patients treated with radiochemotherapy. Dead Sea products that contain minerals and other properties have proven effective in treating various skin diseases.
Objectives: To evaluate the effectiveness of Dead Sea products in reducing acute radiochemotherapy-induced side effects in patients with head and neck cancer.
Methods: In this phase 2 study we compared the outcomes in 24 treated patients and 30 conventionally treated patients matched for age, tumor site, and type of treatment. The Dead Sea products comprised a mouthwash solution (Lenom) and a skin cream (Solaris) used three times daily for 1 week before, during, and up to 2 weeks after completion of radiotherapy. Mucositis and dermatitis were evaluated using common toxicity criteria.
Results: Thirteen treated patients (54%) had grade 1-2 and none had 3-4 mucositis, while 17 controls (57%) had grade 1-2 and 4 (13%) had grade 3-4 mucositis. Thirteen treated patients (54%) had grade 1-2 dermatitis; there was no instance of grade 3-4 dermatitis, while 11 patients in the control group (37%) had grade 1-2 and 5 (17%) had grade 3-4 dermatitis. More patients in the control arm needed a break than did patients in the treatment the control arm needed a break than did patients in the treatment arm (P = 0.034).
Conclusions: The two Dead Sea products tested decreased skin and mucosal toxicity in head and neck cancer patients receiving radiochemotherapy.