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Mucosal Tissue Injury in Cancer Therapy

More Than Mucositis and Mouthwash


  • Deborah B. McGuire phd,rn,faan

    1. Deborah B. McGuire, PhD, RN, FAAN, Associate Professor, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, Philadelphia,
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  • This information was presented at the Oncology Nursing Society/American Cancer Society State-of-the-Science Lecture at the Sixth National Cancer Nursing Research Conference, February 9, 2001, in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.

Address for correspondence: Deborah B. McGuire, PhD, RN, FAAN, University of Pennsylvania, School of Nursing, 420 Guardian Drive (6096), Philadelphia, PA 19104.


purpose: The purpose of this article is as follows: 1) to describe the characteristics and scope of mucosal tissue injury associated with cancer treatment; 2) to discuss recent advances in related basic and clinical science; and 3) to articulate research needs and opportunities to be addressed through collaborative interdisciplinary research.

overview: Mucosal tissue injury is both a direct and indirect consequence of cancer therapy, with manifestations that include damage and a number of other potentially serious sequelae. Current research in mucosal tissue injury is focused on the biology, immunology, and genetics of mucosal injury; clinical problems; assessment and management; and processes and outcomes of care.

clinical implications: Results from these various areas of research enhance the understanding of the mechanisms of mucosal tissue injury, provide direction for the development of policy and for clinical practice, and help to define research needs and opportunities. Future research on the complex process of mucosal tissue injury will be interdisciplinary and will cross the boundaries among basic, translational, and clinical science.