Prevention and Treatment of Oral Mucositis in Children with Cancer

Department of Clinical and Administrative Sciences, University of Oklahoma College of Pharmacy, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
The journal of pediatric pharmacology and therapeutics : JPPT : the official journal of PPAG 10/2012; 17(4):340-50. DOI: 10.5863/1551-6776-17.4.340
Source: PubMed


Oral mucositis affects more than three-fourths of patients undergoing chemotherapy and represents a significant burden to patients and caregivers. Lesions develop as a result of chemotherapeutic agents attacking the rapidly dividing cells of the gastrointestinal tract. Severity can range from mild, painless tissue changes to bleeding ulcerations that prevent oral intake and require narcotic pain relievers. Oral mucositis also leads to an increased risk of infection and can often delay further chemotherapy treatment. A number of assessment scales have been developed to better qualify the symptoms associated with this condition. Few pharmacologic agents have been approved to either prevent the development or alleviate the symptoms of oral mucositis. Current options include the use of antimicrobial mouthwashes, amino acid rinses, and topical healing agents. Palifermin, a keratinocyte growth factor, may be a future option after its use in children is explored. With achievements in other areas of supportive care in patients undergoing chemotherapy, oral mucositis should represent the forefront of new research. This review will provide a comprehensive examination of available options for children who have oral mucositis.

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    • "Up to 80% of paediatric patients with haematological malignancies undergoing chemotherapy experience some degree of mucositis. Moreover, it appears that the prevalence of mucositis in paediatric patients is even greater than that in adults, most likely due to the more rapid cell division in this patient population.12 "
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of palifermin, an N-terminal truncated version of endogenous keratinocyte growth factor, in the control of oral mucositis during antiblastic therapy. Twenty patients undergoing allogeneic stem-cell transplantation for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia were treated with palifermin, and compared to a control group with the same number of subjects and similar inclusion criteria. Statistical analysis were performed to compare the outcomes in the treatment vs. control groups. In the treatment group, we found a statistically significant reduction in the duration of parenteral nutrition (P=0.002), duration of mucositis (P=0.003) and the average grade of mucositis (P=0.03). The statistical analysis showed that the drug was able to decrease the severity of mucositis. These data, although preliminary, suggest that palifermin could be a valid therapeutic adjuvant to improve the quality of life of patients suffering from leukaemia.International Journal of Oral Science (2013) 5, doi:10.1038/ijos.2013.93; published online 20 December 2013.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2013 · International Journal of Oral Science
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    ABSTRACT: In the past decade, there have been important strategic advances relative to pathobiological modeling as well as clinical management for oral mucositis caused by cancer therapies. Prior to the 1990s, research in this field was conducted by a relatively small number of basic and clinical investigators. Increasing interest among researchers and clinicians over the past twenty years has produced a synergistic outcome characterized by a number of key dynamics, including novel discovery models for pathobiology, increased experience in designing and conducting clinical trials, and creation of international collaborations among cancer care professionals who in turn have modeled clinical care paradigms based on state-of-the-science evidence. This maturation of the science and its clinical translation has positioned investigators and oncology providers to further accelerate both the foundational research and the clinical modeling for patient management in the years ahead. The stage is now set to further capitalize upon optimizing the interactions across this interface, with the goal of strategically enhancing management of patients with cancer at risk for this toxicity while reducing the cost of cancer care.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2013 · Oral Diseases
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    ABSTRACT: Oral mucositis is a debilitating side effect of chemotherapy. Laser therapy has recently demonstrated efficacy in the management of oral mucositis (OM). This prospective study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy of class IV laser therapy in patients affected by OM. Eighteen onco-haematological paediatric patients receiving chemotherapy and/or haematopoietic stem cell transplantation, prior to total body irradiation, affected by OM, were enrolled in this study. Patients were treated with class IV laser therapy for four consecutive days; the assessment of OM was performed through WHO Oral Mucositis Grading Objective Scale, and pain was evaluated through visual analogue scale. Patients completed a validated questionnaire, and photographs of lesions were taken during each session. Patients were re-evaluated 11 days after the first day of laser therapy. All patients demonstrated improvement in pain sensation, and all mucositis was fully resolved at the 11-day follow-up visit, with no apparent side effects. Laser therapy was well tolerated with remarkable reduction in pain associated with oral mucositis after 1-2 days of laser therapy. Given class IV laser therapy appears to be safe, non-invasive, and potentially effective, prospective, randomized, controlled trials are necessary to further assess efficacy and to determine optimal treatment parameters.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2013 · International Journal of Paediatric Dentistry
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