Impact of the Use of Zinc in the Prevention of Oral Mucositis in Pediatric Patients With Lymphoblastic Acute Leukemia


Oral mucositis (OM) is a secondary complication of chemo/radiotherapy, which causes pain, dysphagia and predisposition to infections, being a frequent reason for hospitalization that may have an impact on the prognosis of cancer patients. Various interventions for the prevention of OM have been studied, including the use of zinc, which is a micronutrient that participates in various cellular functions and in wound repair, while showing a reduction in the incidence and severity of MO, so the purpose of the present study is to evaluate the impact of the use of zinc in the prevention of oropharyngeal mucositis in pediatric patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in chemotherapy, comparing it with the use of placebo.

Hypothesis: The use of zinc reduces the incidence and severity of OM in pediatric patients with ALL in chemotherapy compared to the control group.

Full Title of Study: “Impact of the Use of Zinc in the Prevention of Oral Mucositis in Patients With Lymphoblastic Acute Leukemia of the National Institute of Pediatrics”

Study Type

  • Study Type: Interventional
  • Study Design
    • Allocation: Randomized
    • Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
    • Primary Purpose: Prevention
    • Masking: Triple (Participant, Care Provider, Investigator)
  • Study Primary Completion Date: June 30, 2020

Detailed Description

Objective: To evaluate the impact of the use of zinc in the prevention, incidence and severity of oral mucositis in patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in chemotherapy (induction and consolidation phase) of the National Institute of Pediatrics during the period from 2019 to 2020.

Methodology: Double-blind randomized clinical trial conducted in pediatric patients with newly diagnosed or relapsed acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The subjects will be randomized to designate them in the control group (Group1 placebo) or intervention group (Group 2 zinc). The zinc / placebo intervention will be administered orally in tablets of 50-100 mg / day, from day 1 of chemotherapy until the end of the consolidation phase (2 to 2.5 months). For the detection of OM the mucositis scale of the World Health Organization will be used and the observation times will correspond to day 1, 4, 7, 14 and 21 of each chemotherapy cycle. Patients of both groups with OM will receive the same treatment (mouthwash of Gelclair) and will be observed daily until healing to determine the days of recovery.

Statistical analysis: Independent t-test and Chi-square test for the difference between the two study groups, ANOVA to compare the groups with respect to the severity of OM.


  • Drug: Zinc Sulfate 50 Mg Tab
    • The tablets were manufactured specifically for this study.
  • Drug: Placebo oral tablet
    • The tablets were manufactured specifically for this study.

Arms, Groups and Cohorts

  • Placebo Comparator: Group1
    • Control
  • Experimental: Group 2
    • Intervention (Zinc)

Clinical Trial Outcome Measures

Primary Measures

  • Incidence of oral mucositis
    • Time Frame: Participants will be followed for the duration of the induction and cosolidation phase of chemotherapy, an expected average of 2 to 2.5 months.
    • Presence /absence The presence of oral mucositis will be measured in all patients during the induction and consolidation phase of chemotherapy.
  • Oral mucositis grade
    • Time Frame: Day 1 oral mucositis start to healing (1-14 days).
    • World Health Organization (WHO) Criteria of Oral Mucositis The total score of this scale ranges from 0 to 4. Grade 0: no changes in the oral cavity are detected. Grade I: pain and erythema in mucosa, gums, tongue or palate. Grade II: erythema and ulcers, still with a solid diet tolerance. grade III: oral ulcers, tolerance to pasty foods and liquid diets. Grade IV: ulcers, erythema, pain, inability to swallow fluids, impossible oral feeding, and narcotic requirement to relieve pain.
  • Pain intensity: Visual analog scale
    • Time Frame: Day 1 oral mucositis start to healing (1-14 days).
    • Visual analog scale Analogous visual scale of facial expressions, which is used in children 3 years and older. It is made up of faces with different expressions that represent a person who is happy because they do not feel pain or who is sad because they feel some pain or a lot of pain. A score is assigned to each face. The patient is asked to select the face that best describes how he feels. It will be recorded by the numerical score and will then be coded as follows: 0-2 No pain 3-4 Mild 5-6 Moderate 7-8 Intense 9-10 Maximum

Secondary Measures

  • Presence of opportunistic oral infections
    • Time Frame: Day 1, 4, 7, 14 and 21 of the induction and consolidation phase.
    • Clinical or laboratory test. Record of suggestive lesions by C. albicans and determination by means of KOH, suggestive lesions of herpes and determination by PCR, suggestive bacterial lesions and detection through cultures. 0. Absent Fungal Bacterial Viral
  • Neutropenia
    • Time Frame: During the induction and consolidation phase. Day 1, 4, 7, 14 and 21 of each phase. (2 to 2.5 months)
    • Absolute neutrophil count obtained by laboratory test (blood count). 0. Absence of neutropenia Mild: 1,000-1,500 / ml Moderate: 500-1,000 / ml Severe: <500 / ml

Participating in This Clinical Trial

Inclusion Criteria

  • Patients aged 3 to 18 years
  • Patients with recent diagnosis of ALL or relapse
  • Pacientes who accept by informed consent to participate in the study.

Exclusion Criteria

  • Patients with another disease or systemic condition in addition to ALL.
  • Patients with Down syndrome
  • Patients allergic to zinc or mannitol.

Gender Eligibility: All

Minimum Age: 3 Years

Maximum Age: 18 Years

Are Healthy Volunteers Accepted: No

Investigator Details

  • Lead Sponsor
    • National Institute of Pediatrics, Mexico
  • Provider of Information About this Clinical Study
    • Principal Investigator: Marta Zapata TarrĂ©s, Pediatrician oncologist – National Institute of Pediatrics, Mexico
  • Overall Official(s)
    • Marta M Zapata, Doctor, Principal Investigator, National Institute of Pediatrics


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