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Oral mucositis induced by anticancer treatments: physiopathology and treatments

Authors D’Hondt, Lionel, Lonchay, Christophe, André, Marc, Canon, Jean-Luc

Published 15 June 2006 Volume 2006:2(2) Pages 159—168

D’Hondt, Lionel, Lonchay, Christophe, André, Marc, Canon, Jean-Luc


Centre Hospitalier Notre-Dame et Reine Fabiola, Charleroi, Belgium


Abstract: Oral mucositis is a frequent and devastating side effect of anticancer treatments. It impairs the patient’s quality of life and also can be life threatening because severe infections and delayed or incomplete anticancer treatments may result. This problem has been largely overlooked and underestimated in the past. However, recently studies have been performed to precisely identify the epidemiology, cost, consequences, physiopathology, and treatments of oral mucositis. Clinical guidelines have recently been published to help the daily management of this frequent complication. In addition, some innovative new drugs, including palifermin, have been developed to prevent and treat this major side effect of cancer treatments. In this paper we summarize the recent developments of oral mucositis management.


Keywords: chemotherapy, radiotherapy, oral mucositis, palifermin

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