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Mechanism-based management for mucositis: option for treating side effects without compromising the efficacy of cancer therapy

Authors Kwon Y

Received 22 September 2015

Accepted for publication 22 January 2016

Published 5 April 2016 Volume 2016:9 Pages 2007—2016

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/OTT.S96899

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Ram Prasad

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Saad Khan


Youngjoo Kwon

Department of Food Science and Engineering, Ewha Womans University, Seoul, South Korea

Abstract: Mucositis is a major side effect induced by chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Although mucositis is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in cancer patients, management is largely limited to controlling symptoms, and few therapeutic agents are available for treatment. Since mucositis could be inhibited by the modulation of radiotherapy- or chemotherapy-induced pathways independently of cancer treatment, there is an opportunity for the development of more targeted therapies and interventions. This article examined potential therapeutic agents that have been investigated for the prevention and/or inhibition of mucositis induced by conventional chemotherapy and radiotherapy. They can be classified according to their mechanisms of action: scavenging reactive oxygen species, inhibition of specific cytokine production or inflammation, and inhibition of apoptosis. These early events may be good target pathways for preventing the pathogenesis of mucositis. Considering that both cancer therapy and therapeutic agents for mucositis act on both normal and cancer cells, agents that inhibit mucositis should act through mechanisms that selectively protect normal cells without compromising cancer treatment. Therefore, mechanism-based guidance for the treatment of mucositis is critical to prevent risky treatments for cancer patients and to relieve detrimental side effects effectively from cancer therapy.

Keywords: apoptosis, chemotherapy, cytokine, mucositis, radiotherapy, reactive oxygen species

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