Photobiomodulation therapy

Photobiomodulation Therapy

A Promising Approach in Cancer Care

In the realm of medical science, there’s a fascinating evolution happening in a field once known as Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT). Initially discovered in 1967 by Endre Mester, at the Semmelweis Medical University in Hungary. This therapy aimed to mimic the success of a similar experiment conducted by Paul McGuff in the USA, who had successfully used the newly discovered ruby laser to cure malignant tumors in rats. While Mester’s laser lacked the power to cure tumors, it unexpectedly accelerated hair growth and wound healing, hinting at the potential of low-level laser light1,2.


Fast forward to today, and we now recognize this approach as Photobiomodulation Therapy (PBMT). PBMT utilizes visible or infrared light from lasers or LEDs to foster wound healing, reduce inflammation, and alleviate pain. Its applications have expanded to include mitigating side effects of cancer therapies like radiation and chemotherapy1.

One such side effect is oral mucositis, a painful condition that interferes with eating and drinking. Studies, including one by Alyne Simões, have shown PBMT’s effectiveness in reducing chemotherapy-induced oral mucositis in animals1. Moreover, recent research by Robijns et al. has demonstrated PBMT’s potential in preventing acute radiation dermatitis (ARD) in head and neck cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy (RT). HNC is the sixth most common cancer globally, with significant reliance on radiation therapy. ARD, an inflammatory skin reaction, is a common side effect of RT. The study, conducted between January 2016 and January 2020 at Jessa Hospital and Ziekenhuis Oost-Limburg, found promising results, showing PBMT effectively prevents severe ARD, potentially improving patients’ quality of life during RT2.

PBMT works by leveraging non-ionizing optical radiation to induce physiological changes without causing harm, leading to therapeutic benefits. Evidence suggests its efficacy not only in oral mucositis but also in managing other complications like lymphedema, radiodermatitis, and peripheral neuropathy. A systematic review of 27 studies on PBMT’s use in preventing and treating cancer-related complications found no safety concerns regarding tumor recurrence or adverse effects. These findings affirm PBMT’s safety and efficacy in managing cancer treatment toxicities3.

Despite cancer therapy’s associated complications, PBMT offers a promising preventive or therapeutic option for various acute and chronic side effects. It’s endorsed by major medical societies and guidelines for managing oral mucositis and other treatment toxicities without observable side effects in cancer patients4.

Photobiomodulation therapy ~ Cancer care

Summarizing, in dermatology, photobiomodulation (PBM) is a newer form of treatment that is being used more often. PBM provides patients with numerous advantages over alternative therapies. It has a good safety profile, is noninvasive, affordable, and convenient for patients. PBM can be added to or utilized instead of other forms of treatment, such as medication. It is always important, for patients to consult dermatologists before undergoing phototherapy5.

Undoubtedly, the side effects on patients’ skin can be reduced or even avoided with a proper skin care routine. Additionally, adopting a proper skin care regimen in combination with photobiomodulation therapy could significantly enhance the therapy’s results, always following specialist guidance. For example, infra-red light therapy enhances the skin’s permeability, allowing topical treatments and serums to penetrate deeper into the skin layers.


The εὖSKIN products by RSL Revolutionary Labs represents a premier choice for patient skin care. RSL offers dermaceutical solutions for compromised skin, backed by extensive research and clinical validation, particularly suitable for oncology care.

The series includes the following products: Intensive Cream, Recovery Oil, Soothing Body Lotion, Intensive Gel, Nail Repair Oil, Lip Care, and soon to be released, Gentle Wash. RSL pioneers crafting natural products enhanced with cutting-edge, molecularly engineered medical-grade biomaterials. These formulations are specifically designed to alleviate skin irritation and promote wound and burn healing, addressing the unique dermatological challenges faced during the cancer journey.

By integrating these high-quality skin care products into a comprehensive treatment plan, patients can experience improved skin health and better overall well-being. With the right approach, managing skin-related side effects becomes more manageable, enhancing the quality of life for patients undergoing treatment.

  1. Hamblin, M. R. Photobiomodulation or low-level laser therapy. Journal of biophotonics. 2016, Vol. 9, 11-12.
  2. Robijns, J., Lodewijckx, J., Claes, S., Van Bever, L., Pannekoeke, L., Censabella, S., … & Mebis, J. Photobiomodulation therapy for the prevention of acute radiation dermatitis in head and neck cancer patients (DERMISHEAD trial). Radiotherapy and Oncology. 2021, pp. 268-275.
  3. de Pauli Paglioni, M., Araújo, A. L. D., Arboleda, L. P. A., Palmier, N. R., Fonsêca, J. M., Gomes-Silva, W., … & Santos-Silva, A. R. Tumor safety and side effects of photobiomodulation therapy used for prevention and management of cancer treatment toxicities. A systematic review. Oral Oncology. 2019, Vol. 93, pp. 21-28.
  4. Robijns, J., Nair, R. G., Lodewijckx, J., Arany, P., Barasch, A., Bjordal, J. M., … & Bensadoun, R. J. Photobiomodulation therapy in management of cancer therapy-induced side effects. WALT position paper. Frontiers in oncology. 2022, 12.
  5. Mineroff, J., Maghfour, J., Ozog, D. D., Lim, H. W., Kohli, I., & Jagdeo, J. Photobiomodulation CME Part II: Clinical Applications in Dermatology. . Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 2024.

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