Scientists at the Rajiv Gandhi Center's Biotechnology and Regional Cancer Centre in Thiruvananthapuram formulate an ayurvedic cost effective mouthwash for treating radiation related mucositis.
The mouthwash is made up of three commonly used herbs. It is effective in the treatment of mucositis, which is one of the common outcomes of oral cancer patients undergoing radiation. Few of the symptoms are mouth sores and gum inflammations, they might last for one and half month to two months and might cause a relapse of the tumor.
The mouthwash is said to cut down on the pain and the rate of infection, thus reducing the need of use of painkillers, according to a study conducted in 148 people.
This wonder product may be out for use by early 2007. M Radhakrishna Pillai, director of Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology said,"We can't reveal names of the medicinal herbs as we are yet to receive the patent. But the plants are common and used in many of our traditional medicines."
Presently the drug used to control mucositis is Amifostine, a dose of which is injected 30 minutes before radiation and costs around Rs.9000. But, this mouthwash is to be soaked overnight and used four times per day and costs only Rs.0.65 per dose.
Pillai said, "Patients who are under radiation suffer from inflammation of gums and mouth tissue. It is painful and often interrupts their treatment. During this time, the tumor can recur. That's why it is important that patients with oral cancer have a solution whereby they can have relief from pain and their treatment continues till the cancer is totally controlled."