Oral Mucositis Following Cancer Therapy

Michal Kuten-Shorrer*, Yehuda Zadik, Sharon Elad

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Oral mucositis (OM) is a common complication of cancer therapy. The clinical presentation varies in severity and dynamics over time based on the cancer therapy modality (radiotherapy to the head and neck, chemotherapy, hematopoietic stem cell transplantation). OM poses a risk for spread of infection locally and systemically, as well as associated with increased consumption of opioids, need for total parenteral nutrition, and increased stay at the hospital. Numerous scales are available to assess OM. The most commonly used scales combine subjective (symptoms) and objective (signs) components. More specific scales are available for research purposes or for assessment of patient-reported outcomes and quality-of-life. With the progress in research, several interventions and treatment principles can be recommended for the prevention of OM or for the palliation of its associated pain. The 2020 MASCC/ISOO clinical practice guidelines for the management of OM present these evidence-based interventions. The emergence of targeted therapy and immunotherapy broadened the clinical profile of OM. This new type of OM has a different pathogenesis and responds to treatment differently than conventional OM. Thus, after several decades of research about OM, great progress was made for the benefit of improving cancer patient care; however, many more challenges remain.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationDiseases of the Oral Mucosa
Subtitle of host publicationStudy Guide and Review
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9783030828042
ISBN (Print)9783030828035
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021.


  • Cancer treatment
  • Management
  • Oral mucositis
  • Pathobiology
  • Stomatitis
  • Supportive care


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