Oral Mucositis Research: Potential Risks & Outcomes

Management of Oral Mucositis in Patients with Cancer.

[Review Paper] Lalla et al, Dent Clin North Am, 2008; 52(1):61-75

  • The pathogenesis of oral mucositis is multifactorial and complex and can negatively affect nutrition and quality of life of patients undergoing cancer treatment, sometimes leading to a dose-limiting complication of therapy.

  • Chemotherapy- and radiation-induced oral mucositis has been shown to have a significant economic impact due to costs associated with pain management, liquid diet supplements, gastrostomy tube placement or total parenteral nutrition and management of secondary infections and hospitalizations. 

  • Current clinical management of oral mucositis is largely focused on palliative measures such as pain management, nutritional support and maintenance of good oral hygiene. However, this paper reviewed several promising therapeutic agents in various stages of clinical development for the management of oral mucositis, in the context of recently updated evidence-based clinical management guidelines.

Patient-Reported Measurements of Oral Mucositis in Head and Neck Cancer Patients Treated with Radiotherapy with or without Chemotherapy: Demonstration of Increased Frequency, Severity, Resistance to Palliation, and Impact on Quality of Life.

Elting et al, Cancer, 2008; 113[10]:2704-13

  • A multinational, prospective study of patient-reported outcomes, showed virtually all head and neck patients undergoing radiation treatment, with or without chemotherapy, developed mouth and throat sores of a sufficient severity that reduced quality of life (QOL) and required analgesics, which provided inadequate relief.

The Economic Burden of Toxicities Associated with Cancer Treatment: Review of the Literature and Analysis of Nausea and Vomiting, Diarrhoea, Oral Mucositis and Fatigue.

Carlotto et al, PharmacoEconomics, 2013; 31:753-766

  • A review paper showed the side effects of cancer treatments, particularly those affecting the gastrointestinal tract (oral mucositis, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting) had significant clinical and economic costs associated with primary cancer therapy, largely attributable to increased hospitalization rates and lengths of hospital stay. 

Evaluating the Supportive Care Costs of Severe Radiochemotherapy-Induced Mucositis and Pharyngitis.

Nonzee et al, Cancer, 2008; 113[6]:1446-52

  • A retrospective study among patients with head and neck cancer and non-small lung cancer who received radio-chemotherapy found medical costs were greater for those who developed severe mucositis/ pharyngitis, than for those who did not.

Risk, Outcomes, and Costs of Radiation-induced Oral Mucositis among Patients with Head-and-neck Malignancies.

Elting et al, Int’l J Radiation Oncology Biology Phys, 2007; 68[4]:1110-1120

  • A retrospective study found oral mucositis was associated with an incremental cost of $1,700-$6,000 per patient, depending on the grade, among patients with head and neck malignancies.