Efficacy of zinc sulfate on concurrent chemoradiotherapy induced taste alterations in oral cancer patients: A double blind randomized controlled trial

Efficacy of zinc sulfate on chemoradiotherapy induced taste alterations in oral cancer

  • Asma Hayat Khan DOW UNIVERSITY OF HEALTH SCIENCES
  • Jawad Safdar
  • Saad Uddin Siddiqui
Keywords: Concurrent chemo-radiotherapy (CCRT), Oral cancer, Taste acuity, Zinc sulfate

Abstract

Objectives: To observe the efficacy of zinc sulfate on taste alterations in oral cancer patients receiving concurrent chemotherapy with radiotherapy.

Methods: Seventy patients were randomly assigned to both intervention and control group at Oncology Section of Atomic Energy Medical Centre Karachi from September 2017 to March 2018. One group received zinc sulfate capsules (50 mg TDS daily after meals) and the other group received placebo (thrice after meals). Patients were advised to start taking capsules on the first day of their chemoradiation. Both the groups continued the capsules a month after their CCRT ended.

Results: Sweet taste was most effected by cancer and its treatment followed by bitter and salty taste. Sour taste was least effected. When both the groups were compared for four tastes for detection threshold, the differences in observation at 3 stages of median IQR were not significant. For recognition threshold between zinc sulfate and placebo, no significant difference was observed in median IQR for salty taste and bitter taste. However, sweet taste (baseline p-value 0.245, end p-value 0.010, follow-up p-value 0.038) was statistically significant at end of CCRT and follow-up stage and sour taste (baseline p-value 0.24, end p-value 0.006, follow-up p-value 0.898) at end of CCRT only.

Conclusion: Zinc sulfate was not found to be beneficial in preventing chemoradiation induced taste alterations. Taste and smell alterations are common in patients with cancer and do not receive sufficient support to manage taste alterations. This area requires more research to develop a comprehensive understanding of the nature and its management.

Abbreviations: CCRT = Concurrent chemoradiotherapy. DT = Detection threshold.
RT = Recognition threshold. AEMC = Atomic Energy Medical Centre.

doi: https://doi.org/10.12669/pjms.35.3.503

How to cite this:
Khan AH, Safdar J, Siddiqui SU. Efficacy of zinc sulfate on concurrent chemoradiotherapy induced taste alterations in oral cancer patients: A double blind randomized controlled trial. Pak J Med Sci. 2019;35(3):624-629.
doi: https://doi.org/10.12669/pjms.35.3.503

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Published
2019-05-20
Section
Original Articles