Severe chronic nonlichenoid oral mucositis in pembrolizumab-treated patients: New cases and a review of the literature

Dalit Porat Ben Amy, Akram Shalabi, Ori Finfter, Yonatan Birenzweig, Yehuda Zadik*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

To report of severe chronic oral mucositis (OM) in two pembrolizumab-treated cancer patients. Materials & methods: A retrospective chart review was performed. Inclusion/exclusion criteria detected patients that developed OM during pembrolizumab immunotherapy. In addition, we searched the literature for nonlichenoid OM in immunotherapy-treated cancer patients. Results: Two male patients treated for anaplastic astrocytoma and lung adenocarcinoma were included. Extensive painful OM (grade 4) developed in both patients during the course of immunotherapy and the ulcerations remained 30 weeks (16 weeks after stopping immunotherapy). Superficial mucocele appeared in one patient. In one patient, pain relief was achieved with photobiomodulation (low-level laser) therapy. Conclusion: OM induced by immunotherapy may be a major cause of suffering and eating difficulties. In most cases, the OM lasted for months even after the drug was stopped. There is a controversy regarding the beneficial effect of corticosteroids on OM in these patients.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)777-784
Number of pages8
JournalImmunotherapy
Volume12
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Future Medicine Ltd.

Keywords

  • immunotherapy
  • low-level laser therapy
  • oral complications
  • oral medicine
  • oral mucositis
  • oral oncology
  • pain
  • superficial mucocele

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