To analyze the efficacy of various treatment options for radiation-induced hyposalivation in patients with head and neck cancer. A literature review and meta-analysis was performed on all appropriate literature identified via MEDLINE/PubMed. Fourteen articles were identified that met inclusion criteria for review, and 8 articles qualified for inclusion in the meta-analysis. The available literature addressed both objective and subjective responses of hyposalivation, xerostomia, or both to cholinergic agonists (such as pilocarpine and cevimeline), salivary substitutes, hyperbaric oxygen, and acupuncture. This analysis indicated that cholinergic agonists were more effective in treating radiation-induced hyposalivation compared with salivary substitutes, hyperbaric oxygen, and acupuncture. However, other treatment modalities, such as salivary substitutes and hyperbaric oxygen, were also found to subjectively improve patients’ perception of xerostomia.

Lovelace, Fox, Sood, Nguyen, Day, , , , (2014). Management of radiotherapy-induced salivary hypofunction and consequent xerostomia in patients with oral or head and neck cancer: meta-analysis and literature review. Oral surgery, oral medicine, oral pathology and oral radiology, 2014 May;117(5):595-607. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24650370