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Radiation-Induced Oral Mucositis in Head and Neck Cancer Patients. Five Years Literature Review

[ Vol. 16 , Issue. 2 ]


Areti Gkantaifi*, Emmanouil Vardas, Filippo Alongi, Nikolaos Tsoukalas, Haytham Hamed Saraireh, Nikolaos Charalampakis, Jozsef Lövey, Jiannis Hajiioannou, Efthymios Kyrodimos, Konstantinos Tsanadis, Davide Mauri, Christos Christopoulos, George Iliadis and Maria Tolia   Pages 151 - 165 ( 15 )


Backround: Radiation-induced oral mucositis consists of a series of relatively frequent side effects after head and neck cancer radiotherapy and has an adverse impact on both regular treatment process and the quality of life of patients.

Objective: The purpose of the present review is to optimize the current management of radiation-induced oral mucositis in head and neck cancer patients.

Methods: PubMed database research was performed on articles published since 2015 that demonstrated efficacy in the management of radiation-induced oral mucositis in head and neck cancer patients. The study selection included observational, prospective, comparative, randomized, double- blind, placebo-controlled or uncontrolled, and retrospective studies, as well as systematic reviews and metanalyses.

Results: From the 931 citations obtained from the search, only 94 articles met the inclusion criteria, including mucosal protectants, anti-inflammatory agents, growth factors, and various miscellaneous and natural agents. Several methods, including both pharmacological and natural agents, have been proposed for the management of oral mucositis. In addition to the already known interventions with strong evidence, according to the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer and he International Society of Oral Oncology guidelines, further agents have been used. However, a great number of them lack clear evidence, which surely requires the design of more controlled clinical trials for a better assessment of the ideal methods.

Conclusion: The management of oral mucositis constitutes an active area of research. In light of these results, it is aimed to illustrate those treatment strategies that are most effective regarding the treatment approach of oral mucositis.


Oral mucositis, radiotherapy, head and neck cancer, interventions, prevention, treatment.


Radiotherapy Department, Interbalkan Medical Center, 10 Asclepioustr, 57001 Pylaia, Thessaloniki, Clinic of Hospital Dentistry, Dental School, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, 2 Thivonstr, Goudi, 11527Athens, Advanced Radiation Oncology Department, IRCCS SacroCuore Don Calabria, Hospital, Negrar, Verona, University of Brescia, Brescia, Oncology Department, General Military Hospital 401, 138 Avenue Mesogeion & Katechaki, 11525, Athens, Radiation Oncology Department, Jordanian Royal Medical Services, King Hussein, Medical Center, King Abdullah II St 230, Amman, Oncology Clinic, Metaxa Hospital, Mpotasi 51, 18537Piraeus, Department of Oncology, Center of Radiotherapy, National Institute of Oncology, Semmelweis University, Budapest, Department of Otolaryngology, Faculty of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, University of Thessaly, University Hospital of Larissa, Biopolis,41110, Larissa, First Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Hippocration Hospital, University of Athens, Athens, Department of Radiotherapy, University Hospital of Larisa, Biopolis, 41110, Larisa, Medical Oncology, University of Ioannina, Ioannina, Radiation Oncology Department, Groupe Hospitalier Intercommunal Le Raincy, Montfermeil, 10 Rue du General Leclerc, 93370 Montfermeil, Radiotherapy Department, Interbalkan Medical Center, 10 Asclepioustr, 57001 Pylaia, Thessaloniki, Department of Radiotherapy, University of Thessaly, School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Biopolis,41110, Larisa

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