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Effect of Oral Sucralfate on Side Effects of External Radiation Therapy in
Patients with Head and Neck Cancer
Early side effects of irradiation for head and neck cancers are very common and
disturbing. These events may cause a transient disruption in the treatment course. The aim of
this study was to evaluate the role of sucralfate on radiation side effects. Patients and
Between November 1999 and January 2002, eighty patients with head and neck
cancers who were referred to the Radiotherapy Department of Nemazee Hospital were divided into two groups. Group I was
treated with external radiotherapy alone and group II received
irradiation and oral sucralfate. The total dose of radiation was at
least 50 Gy and sucralfate was started at the beginning of
irradiation and was continued for 9 weeks at an oral dose of 1
gram, three times a day. The patients were evaluated weekly and
the side effects were scored. Results:
The intensity of radiation
side effects (subjective tolerance, dysphagia, dermatitis and
mucositis and also treatment time interruption) did not differ
significantly between the two groups (p>0.05). However,
Shiraz University of Medical Sciences,
sucralfate significantly induced more nausea and vomiting in
Group II as compared to Group I (p<0.05). Conclusion:
According to this study, using sucralfate in order to decrease radiation-induced side effects in head and neck cancers not only is ineffective in reducing radiation mucositis and other side effects but also induces nausea and vomiting.
Cancer, Head and neck, Radiotherapy, Sucralfate,
Lievens Y, Haustermans K, Van den Weyngaert D, et al.: Does
sucralfate reduce the acute side-effects in head and neck cancer
treated with radiotherapy? A double blind randomized trial.
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prolongation in radiotherapy. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys
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treatment times. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys
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for laryngeal cancer: Acute and late toxicity. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys
Bruntoon LL: Agents for control of gastric acidity and treatment of peptic ulcers. In :
Hardman JG, Limbird LE, Molinoff PB , eds. Goodman and Gilman’s the pharmacological
basis of therapeutics.
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Szabo S, Vattay P, Scarbrought E, et al.: Role of vascular factors including angiogenesis in
the mechanism of action of sucraltate. Am J Med
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Szabo S, Hollander D: Pathways of gastrointestinal protection and repair: Mechanism of
action of sucralfate. Am J Med
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Burch RM, McMillan BA: Sucralfate induces proliferation of dermal fibroblasts and
keratinocytes in culture and granulation tissue formation in full thickness skin wounds. Agents
Tarnawski A, Hollander D, Krause WJ, et al.: Does Sucralfate affect the normal gastric
mucosa? Histologic, ultrastructural and functional assessment in the rat. Gastroenterology
Epstein JB, Wong FLW: The efficacy of sucralfate suspension in the prevention of oral
mucositis due to radiation therapy. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys
Franzen L,Henriksson R, Littbrand B, et al.: Efffects of sucralfate on mucositis during and
following radiotherapy of malignancies in the head and neck region : A double blind placebo
controlled study. Acta Oncol
McGinnis WL, Loprinzi CL, Buskirk SJ, et al.: Phase III evaluation of sucralfate for
radiation induced esophagitis. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys
1996; 36 (suppl. 1044):266.
Etiz D, Erkal HS, Serin M, et al.: Clinical and histopathological evaluation of sucralfate in
prevention of oral mucositis induced by radiation therapy in patients with head and neck
malignancies. Oral Oncology
Scherlacher A, Beaufort- Spontin F: Radiotherapy of head and neck neoplasms:Prevention
of inflammation of the mucosa by sucralfate treatment. HNO
Causes severe irritation of eyes, skin and mucous membranes. Harmful to aquatic organisms, may cause long-term adverse effects in the aquaticAvoid breathing vapors or mists of this product. Inhalation of vapors or mists of the productmay be irritating to the respiratory system. Ingestion is not expected to be a primary route of exposure for this product under normal usePotential routes of e
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