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Oral Mucositis Therapies for Multiple Myeloma ASCT Patients-

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Pain from the condition (oral mucositis) can slow or delay cancer treatment (ASCT), and in severe cases require hospitalization. Consider LLLT and Cryotherapy aka ice chips…

According to research, oral mucositis (OM) occurs about 70% in multiple myeloma (MM) patients undergoing autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) with melphalan conditioning therapy. Not only is OM an extremely painful side effect of ASCT, if this side effect is severe enough, it can slow your chemo or require hospitilization. Consider LLLT and ice chips…


When I developed OM during my ASCT in December of 1995, I didn’t think much of the pain in my mouth. I could swallow foods, I could sleep, I didn’t have to interupt my ASCT. Reading the study below, however, it is clear that my case was OM grade 1. About 70% of us MMers develop this side effect with few if any real problems. But if you are in the unlucky 10% or so that develop grade 3 or 4 OM, you’re in trouble.

According to the studies linked below, both preventative as well as therapy during OM can reduce the pain and severity of OM.

Have you been diagnosed with MM? Are you considering having an ASCT? Please talk to your oncologist about one or more of the OM therapies discussed below. You don’t want to develop a serious case of OM.

Thank you,

David Emerson

  • MM Survivor
  • MM Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

Recommended Reading:

Impact of oral mucositis on outcomes of multiple myeloma patients treated with high-dose melphalan conditioning and autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT).

Background: High-dose melphalan is the standard conditioning regimen for patients with multiple myeloma (MM) undergoing ASCT. However, this therapy is commonly associated with severe oral mucositis (OM). Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) has been reported as an effective method in preventing this complication…

Methods: We describe a retrospective cohort of 79 consecutive patients with MM who received high-dose melphalan conditioning. All patients received prophylactic LLLT application performed daily from the beginning of the conditioning regimen up to day +2…

Results: Of 79 patients,

  • 55 (69.62%) experienced OM grade 0-1,
  • 16 (20.25%) experienced OM grade 2,
  • 7 (8.86%) grade 3 and
  • 1 (1.26%) grade 4.

Conclusions: Severe OM is associated with worse clinical outcomes. In this transplantation setting, severe OM was not common as previously reported in literature, probably due to LLLT…”

Icing oral mucositis: Oral cryotherapy in multiple myeloma patients undergoing autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplant.

“Background- Up to 70% of patients receiving hematopoietic stem cell transplant develop oral mucositis as a side effect of high-dose melphalan conditioning chemotherapy. Oral cryotherapy has been documented to be potentially effective in reducing oral mucositis…

Conclusion-The cryotherapy protocol resulted in a significantly lower incidence and severity of oral mucositis. These results provide evidence for the continued use of oral cryotherapy, an inexpensive and generally well-tolerated practice…”

Oral mucositis and outcomes of autologous hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation following high-dose melphalan conditioning for multiple myeloma

“OM is associated with worse clinical and economic outcomes in multiple myeloma patients undergoing autologous HSCT following high-dose melphalan conditioning…”

Light therapy could replace opioids as main treatment for cancer treatment side effect

“Multiple studies have found that patients report oral mucositis as the worst side effect of their cancer treatment. Pain from the condition can slow or delay cancer treatment, and in severe cases require hospitalization.

Light therapies have existed for decades, but improvements in the technology have made the treatment more affordable for wider use. At a high power, light, often in the form of a laser, is used in medicine to cut or destroy tissue. But at a low power, it has the ability to relieve pain or inflammation and promote healing…”


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