WVU Cancer Institute utilizes new technology to help radiation patients

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The WVU Cancer Institute Department of Radiation Oncology recently implemented the use of a THOR® photobiomodulation (PBM) device to prevent mucositis in head and neck cancer patients receiving radiation. 

THOR deviceAlso used by athletes to improve muscle recovery, this technology uses low-level lasers in the near-infrared range, which stimulate and promote wound healing and regeneration. Head and neck cancer patients often experience mucositis, or lesions in the mouth, during cancer treatment. These lesions are painful and can make eating, drinking, and speaking difficult. 

The 2019 Multinational Association for Supportive Care in Cancer guidelines recommend PBM therapy for the prevention and treatment of oral mucositis caused by radiation and chemotherapy for head and neck cancer and for the prevention of oral mucositis in patients receiving hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

“We’ve started using this technology in the hopes of creating a better treatment experience for our patients,” Geraldine Jacobson, M.D., WVU Cancer Institute Radiation Oncology chair, said. “Nutrition is important as our patients go through treatment and recovery, and mucositis makes it difficult for patients to eat and drink. By using this therapy, we hope to alleviate the pain of mucositis and create better patient outcomes.”

For more information on the WVU Cancer Institute, visit WVUMedicine.org/Cancer

For more information: Heather Bonecutter, Communications Specialist, 304-285-7256