Oral mucositis: A challenging complication of radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and radiochemotherapy. Part 2: Diagnosis and management of mucositis

Authors

  • Crispian Scully CBE, MD, PhD, MDS, FDSRCS, FDSRCPS, FFDRCSI, FDSRCSE, FRCPath, FMedSci,

    Corresponding author
    1. International Centres for Excellence in Dentistry, and Eastman Dental Institute for Oral Health Care Sciences, World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre for Oral Health, Disability and Culture, University College London, University of London, 256 Gray's Inn Road, London WC1X 8LD, United Kingdom
    • International Centres for Excellence in Dentistry, and Eastman Dental Institute for Oral Health Care Sciences, World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre for Oral Health, Disability and Culture, University College London, University of London, 256 Gray's Inn Road, London WC1X 8LD, United Kingdom
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  • Joel Epstein DMD, MSD, FRCD(C), FCDS(BC),

    1. Department of Oral Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences, College of Dentistry, University of Illinois, College of Medicine, Chicago Cancer Center, Chicago, Illinois
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  • Stephen Sonis DMD, DMSc

    1. Department of Oral Medicine, Infection and Immunity, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Divisions of Oral Medicine, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Dentistry, Brigham & Women's Hospital and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts
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Abstract

Background.

Oral mucositis is a common sequel of radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and radiochemotherapy in patients with cancer or patients requiring hemopoietic stem cell transplants. Mucositis has a direct and significant impact on the duration of disease remission and cure rates, because it is a treatment-limiting toxicity. Mucositis also affects survival because of the risk of infection and has a significant impact on quality of life and cost of care.

Methods.

This article reviews publications on the diagnosis and management of oral mucositis accessible from a MEDLINE search using as key words mucositis, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, hemopoietic stem cell transplant, and oral.

Conclusions.

Conventional care of patients with mucositis is currently essentially palliative, with good oral hygiene, narcotic analgesics, and topical palliative mouth rinses. © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck 26: 77–84, 2004

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