Efficacy and safety of beta carotones in treatment of oral leukoplakia: systematic review and meta-analysis.
AbstractObjectives: A systematic review was conducted to evaluate effectiveness and safety of beta carotenes for the treatment of oral leukoplakia regarding clinical resolution and prevention of malignant transformation. Material and Methods: The systematic search was conducted in three electronic databases and the study’s selection was performed according to pre-set eligibility criteria. Four studies evaluating the efficacy of beta carotenes in oral leukoplakia compared to placebo were included in the review; three of which were assigned for quantitative analysis. Data were extracted, tabulated, quality assessed and statistically analyzed. Results: The meta-analysis revealed that when comparing clinical resolution the beta carotene group favored was favored compared to placebo, with statistically significant difference. However, a meta-analysis comparing beta carotene and placebo groups regarding malignant transformation as a primary outcome failed to show any significant benefit. Furthermore, results showed evidence of beta carotene safety. Conclusion: the overall quality of evidence about efficacy of beta carotene in oral leukoplakia treatment was not high. However, given the obvious safety of this agent, data suggests it could have a promising effect in clinical improvement of oral leukoplakia lesions. However, no evidence supporting its benefits in reducing risk of malignant transformation in these lesions was found. Therefore, further long term, well designed randomized clinical trials are highly recommended.
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