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Abstract

Chemotherapy- and radiotherapy-induced oral mucositis represents a therapeutic challenge frequently encountered in cancer patients. This side effect causes significant morbidity and may delay the treatment plan, as well as increase therapeutic expenses.

The pathogenesis of this debilitating side effect can be attributed to the direct mucosal toxicity of cytotoxic agents and ionizing radiation and to indirect mucosal damage caused by a concomitant inflammatory reaction exacerbated in the presence of neutropenia, and the emergence of bacterial, mycotic, and viral infections. The prophylactic and therapeutic armamentarium for the treatment of oral mucositis consists of locally and systemically applied nonpharmacological measures and pharmacotherapeutics.