Povidone-iodine for the management of oral mucositis during cancer therapy

  • Jeeve Kanagalingam Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins Singapore IMC and Tan Tock Seng Hospital, The ENT Clinic, Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital, Singapore, Singapore.
  • Akhil Chopra OncoCare, Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre, Mount Elizabeth, Singapore, Singapore.
  • Min Hee Hong Division of Medical Oncology, Department of Internal Medicine, Yonsei Cancer Center, Severance Hospital, Yonsei University Health System, Seoul, Korea, Republic of.
  • Wisam Ibrahim Ibn Nafees Medical Center, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
  • Antonio Villalon Manila Doctors Hospital, Manila, Philippines.
  • Jin-Ching Lin | jclin@vghtc.gov.tw Department of Radiation Oncology, Taichung Veterans General Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan, Province of China.


Oral mucositis (OM) is a common and often dose-limiting side effect of cancer therapy. Povidone iodine (PVP-I) formulations have been shown to decrease the incidence and severity of OM, but the relevance of these findings remains unclear. The objective of the present study was to review evidence for the use of PVP-I for OM management. An algorithm identified relevant articles published online, and a panel of experts with experience in the management of OM reviewed the findings. Six studies fulfilled the criteria for full review. Two studies provided evidence of moderate quality. Two of the studies with negative findings were confounded by the use of PVP-I concentrations that are too low to be efficacious. The remaining two studies were found to have design flaws. There exists reasonable evidence to support a recommendation for the use of PVP-I in the management of cancer therapy-related OM.



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Povidone iodine, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, cancer, mucositis.
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How to Cite
Kanagalingam, J., Chopra, A., Hong, M. H., Ibrahim, W., Villalon, A., & Lin, J.-C. (2017). Povidone-iodine for the management of oral mucositis during cancer therapy. Oncology Reviews, 11(2). https://doi.org/10.4081/oncol.2017.341