Nigella Sativa Oil for Oral Mucositis
Oral mucositis (OM) is common treatment-induced toxicity in patients receiving chemoradiation for head and neck cancer (HNC). The present study aims to evaluate the efficacy and safety of Nigella sativa (NS) oil in chemoradiation-induced OM of HNC patients. From
January 2017 to May 2018, 40 patients with HNC were randomly allocated into two groups each of 20 patients. The first group received NS oil mouthwash five times daily, while the second group received the routinely followed protocol (magic mouthwash) and served as a control. All patients received radiotherapy (RT) (60-70 Gy) in 30-35 fractions over 6-7 weeks with or without chemotherapy. Patients were evaluated weekly to estimate the onset and severity of OM and the patient’s reported outcomes (pain, swallowing, and functional score). The majority of patients (70%) were men. The commonest primary tumor locations were the larynx (47.5), and pharynx (22.5%) mostly classified as stages III or IV. NS oil significantly reduces the RTOG of mucositis in the last 3 weeks of RT and improves the reported outcomes (pain and swallowing) during the next 6 weeks of RT compared with controls. The majority of patients in the NS group ingested either normal or soft food especially at the end of RT. In conclusion, NS oil decreases the duration and severity of OM with better patient-reported outcome and pain control compared with the routine treatment. NS oil can be considered as a feasible and affordable option for chemoradiation-induced OM in HNC patients.