Branded probiotic strain may reduce incidence of oral mucositis in patients undergoing radiotherapy


A recent study found that supplementation with a branded probiotic strain from Blis Technologies may reduce the incidence, duration, and severity of oral mucositis (OM) in radiotherapy patients.

Photo © Khabirov

Photo © Khabirov

A recent study1 published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology found that supplementation with a Streptococcus salivarius K12 probiotic strain (marketed as Blis K12 by Blis Technologies) may reduce the incidence, duration, and severity of oral mucositis (OM) in radiotherapy patients. OM is a very common acute radiation-related toxicity in patients receiving treatment for malignant tumors in the head and neck, occurring in approximately 50-70% of patients. Symptoms include painful inflammation and ulceration which impacts the patients’ ability to eat, swallow, and speak, decreasing their tolerance to the treatment, and impairing quality of life.

In the study, 160 patients with malignant head and neck tumors undergoing radiotherapy were assigned to receive either placebo or the probiotic strain in the form of a lozenge three times per day until the end of radiotherapy. Researchers evaluated OM twice a week during the treatment, and once a week after for eight weeks. Results showed that the incidence of severe OM was significantly lower in patients taking the probiotic lozenges compared to placebo. They also observed that duration and time to develop severe OM were also improved in the probiotic group. Additionally, high throughput sequencing showed that the probiotic inhibited opportunistic pathogens and enriched oral commensals during the radiotherapy.

"These exciting new findings highlight the potential of Blis K12 as a natural, supplementary product to improve the quality of life for cancer patients suffering from oral mucositis," says John Hale, PhD, chief technology officer of Blis Technologies, in a press release. This latest study confirms the results of a previous animal study2, published in 2021.

"Since this latest study came out, we've had numerous enquiries from oncologists all over the world, interested in trialing Blis K12 with their own patients," added Hale. "We're also exploring research opportunities to further validate its use in this area."


  1. Peng, X.; Li, Z.; Pei, Y.; Zheng, S.; Liu, S.; Liu, J.; Wang, J.; Li, R. Xu, X. Streptococcus salivarius K12 Alleviates Oral Mucositis in Patients Undergoing Radiotherapy for Malignant Head and Neck Tumors: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2024, 42 (12). DOI: 10.1200/JCO.23.00837
  2. Wang, Y.; Li, J.; Zhang, H.; Zheng, X.; Wang, J.; Jia, X.; Peng, X.; Xie, Q.; Zou, J.; Zheng, L.; Li, J.; Zhou, X.; Xu, X. Probiotic Streptococcus salivarius K12 Alleviates Radiation-Induced Oral Mucositis in Mice. Front. Immunol. 2021, 12. DOI: 10.3389/fimmu.2021.684824
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