The broadening scope of oral mucositis and oral ulcerative mucosal toxicities of anticancer therapies

Sharon Elad*, Noam Yarom, Yehuda Zadik, Michal Kuten-Shorrer, Stephen T. Sonis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Oral mucositis (OM) is a common, highly symptomatic complication of cancer therapy that affects patients' function, quality of life, and ability to tolerate treatment. In certain patients with cancer, OM is associated with increased mortality. Research on the management of OM is ongoing. Oral mucosal toxicities are also reported in targeted and immune checkpoint inhibitor therapies. The objective of this article is to present current knowledge about the epidemiology, pathogenesis, assessment, risk prediction, and current and developing intervention strategies for OM and other ulcerative mucosal toxicities caused by both conventional and evolving forms of cancer therapy.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)57-77
Number of pages21
JournalCa-A Cancer Journal for Clinicians
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
No specific funding was disclosed. Sharon Elad reports a grant from the National Institutes of Health through the National Dental Practice‐Based Research Network; Consultation fees from Falk Pharma GmbH, all are outside the submitted work. Stephen T. Sonis is an employee of Biomodels, LLC, and Primary Endpoint Solutions, LLC; he owns equity in both companies and reports participation in scientific advisory boards as a component of his employment; both companies assist industry, government, and academics to study and enable drugs, biologicals, and devices to treat patients for a variety of indications, including oral mucositis, and their employees are prohibited from having equity in any of the companies with which they work. Noam Yarom, Yehuda Zadik, and Michal Kuten‐Shorrer had no disclosures. Disclosures:

Funding Information:
We thank Mr. Glen Hinz, BFA, from the Medical Illustration School of Art, College of Art and Design, Rochester Institute of Technology, for creation of the pathobiology illustration.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors. CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of American Cancer Society


  • Antineoplastic Agents/adverse effects
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation/adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Mouth Mucosa/drug effects
  • Neoplasms/therapy
  • Oral Ulcer/diagnosis
  • Prevalence
  • Quality of Life
  • Radiation Injuries/diagnosis
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Stomatitis/diagnosis


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