Physicians in England and Wales are testing a new low-level “soft” laser to treat dry mouth and other side effects of radiation for neck and head cancer.
The countries’ National Health Service has launched a multi-center national trial of the low level laser therapy (LLLT) developed by clinicians from University Hospital Southhampton and Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals, according to a report in the UK’s Daily Mail.
The LLLT treatment uses the “soft” laser to stimulate the damaged cells, thereby reducing pain and inflammation, among other effects. Along with dry mouth, the treatment is designed for the treatment of soreness in the mouth and swallowing problems said to affect 90 percent of the NHS cancer patients who receive chemoradiotherapy for their head and neck cancers.
If the soft laser therapy proves to be effective in the pilot study, it could “radically change the management of the group of patients in the UK and worldwide,” said Dr. Shanmugasundaram Ramkar, a clinical oncologist consultant at Southhampton General Hospital, the report noted.
The trial is part of a £1.2 million study funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).
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