Radiation Induced Oral Mucositis in Head and Neck Cancer Patients. Is There Any Effective Management? Review of the Literature the Last Five Years

Head and Neck Cancer

Rev Recent Clin Trials. 2020 Jul 31. doi: 10.2174/1574887115666200731182708. Online ahead of print.


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 observa-tional, prospective, comparative, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled or uncontrolled, and retrospective studies, as well as systematic reviews and metanalyses.

RESULTS: From the 931 citations of our search only 94 articles met our 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 high evidence, according to Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer and International Society of Oral Oncology guidelines, further agents have been used. However, a great number of them are lacking of clear evidence, which surely requires the design of more controlled clinical trials for the better assessment of the most ideal methods.

CONCLUSION: The management of oral mucositis constitutes an active area of research. In the light of our results we aim to illustrate those treatment strategies that are most effective regarding the treatment approach of oral mucositis.