Guidance on mucositis assessment from the MASCC Mucositis Study Group and ISOO: an international Delphi study

MASCC Mucositis Study Group

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Background: Mucositis is a common and highly impactful side effect of conventional and emerging cancer therapy and thus the subject of intense investigation. Although common practice, mucositis assessment is heterogeneously adopted and poorly guided, impacting evidence synthesis and translation. The Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer (MASCC) Mucositis Study Group (MSG) therefore aimed to establish expert recommendations for how existing mucositis assessment tools should be used, in clinical care and trials contexts, to improve the consistency of mucositis assessment. Methods: This study was conducted over two stages (January 2022–July 2023). The first phase involved a survey to MASCC-MSG members (January 2022–May 2022), capturing current practices, challenges and preferences. These then informed the second phase, in which a set of initial recommendations were prepared and refined using the Delphi method (February 2023–May 2023). Consensus was defined as agreement on a parameter by >80% of respondents. Findings: Seventy-two MASCC-MSG members completed the first phase of the study (37 females, 34 males, mainly oral care specialists). High variability was noted in the use of mucositis assessment tools, with a high reliance on clinician assessment compared to patient reported outcome measures (PROMs, 47% vs 3%, 37% used a combination). The World Health Organization (WHO) and Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (CTCAE) scales were most commonly used to assess mucositis across multiple settings. Initial recommendations were reviewed by experienced MSG members and following two rounds of Delphi survey consensus was achieved in 91 of 100 recommendations. For example, in patients receiving chemotherapy, the recommended tool for clinician assessment in clinical practice is WHO for oral mucositis (89.5% consensus), and WHO or CTCAE for gastrointestinal mucositis (85.7% consensus). The recommended PROM in clinical trials is OMD/WQ for oral mucositis (93.3% consensus), and PRO-CTCAE for gastrointestinal mucositis (83.3% consensus). Interpretation: These new recommendations provide much needed guidance on mucositis assessment and may be applied in both clinical practice and research to streamline comparison and synthesis of global data sets, thus accelerating translation of new knowledge into clinical practice. Funding: No funding was received.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102675
StatePublished - Jul 2024

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© 2024


  • Gastrointestinal mucositis
  • Mucositis assessment tools
  • Oral mucositis
  • Patient-reported outcome measures


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