Clinical Evidence

Oral administration of nanomicelle curcumin in the prevention of radiotherapy-induced mucositis in head and neck cancers
Spec Care Dentist.2019; 39(2):166-172. DOI: 10.1111/scd.12358
Radiotherapy uses high energy rays to kill cancer cells in cancer subjects. The head and neck cancer are majorly treated with radiation therapy. Oral mucositis is condition observed in head and neck cancer patients, resulting due to chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy to fields involving the oral cavity, where erythematous and ulcerative lesions of the oral mucosa can be observed in patients. Though there is no established definitive treatment to avoid the side effect, there is interest in the use of natural compounds owing to their antioxidant and light-absorbing effects. Curcumin is blessed with a variety of biological and pharmacological properties including anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory effects. The efficacy of curcumin in preventing radiation damage was assessed.

To evaluate the effect of curcumin in the form of nano-micelle on oral mucositis in head and neck cancer patients receiving radiotherapy.


In this clinical trial, 32 HNC patients were allocated to case and control groups, and respectively received nano curcumin or placebo during radiotherapy.


We found a statistically significant difference in the severity of mucositis between the 2 groups at all visits. In contrast to the control-group patients, who all developed oral mucositis in the 2nd week of radiotherapy, only 32% of the case group developed oral mucositis with no obvious oral or systemic side effects.


The nano-micelle curcumin is an effective agent in the prevention of oral mucositis or reducing its severity. Thus, the administration of nano curcumin can be considered as a reasonable approach to hinder the development of oral mucositis in HNC patients requiring radiotherapy.