Recently, a randomised study demonstrated the utility of oral cooling (cryotherapy) in the prevention of 5-fluorouracil (5FU)-induced stomatitis. In order to verify these results a confirmatory study, using identical treatment regimen, was initiated. 84 patients treated with a 5-FU-containing regimen were randomised to a control arm or to receive oral cryotherapy. End point evaluation was obtained by a global assessment of the physician's judgement and patients' description of mucositis severity graded 0-4. Mucositis was significantly reduced by cryotherapy considering both the first cycle of therapy (the mean toxicity score for cryotherapy was 0.59 and it was 1.1 for the control group, P < or = 0.05) and all the chemotherapeutic courses (the mean toxicity score for cryotherapy was 0.36 when it was 0.69 for the control group, P < or = 0.05). In conclusion, the present study confirms that cryotherapy can decrease 5FU-induced stomatitis and should be recommended for patients receiving bolus 5FU-containing regimens.
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