Author(s): Sonis ST
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Abstract PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Gastrointestinal toxicities are a common side effect of many forms of cytotoxic cancer therapy. Of the gastrointestinal toxicities, mucositis is among the most common and results in a range of symptoms that negatively impact patients' quality of life, ability to tolerate their cancer therapy, and health resource use. The purpose of this review is to describe the scope, risk factors, pathobiology, and treatment opportunities for mucositis. RECENT FINDINGS: The historical paradigm by which mucositis occurs has been markedly revised in the past decade. The pathogenesis of mucositis is now recognized to consist of a series of complex biological events that ultimately result in the disruption of the integrity of the gastrointestinal tract. Risk factors for mucositis have been identified that are associated with its biology. Treatment strategies that target mucositis' mechanistic pathways hold significant promise. SUMMARY: Mucosal injury induced by radiation or chemotherapy is a common, painful, function disrupting toxicity that, currently, has limited treatment options. The evolving understanding of the pathobiology of the condition provides multiple treatment targets that should ultimately result in amelioration of the condition.
This article was published in Curr Opin Support Palliat Care
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology