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Oral Mucositis Therapies-

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Oral mucositis occurs in approximately 40% of cancer patients according to research.  It is one of those side effects that is often minimal (mine was) but can become serious and cause therapy disruptions and can even kill.

If you are about to undergo chemo or radiation and certainly if you are about to have a ASCT, do not underestimate the possibility of oral mucositis.

If you are a newly diagnosed cancer patient and you are considering certain kinds of chemo or are considering radiation to your head or neck, please save the list of therapies listed in this post in case you need them.

I am both a cancer survivor and cancer coach. My cancer experiences give me a unique perspective about common side effects such as oral mucositis.

  • Conventional oncology often underestimates the significance of side effects-
  • Evidence-based non-conventional therapies are often less expensive and more effective than conventional therapies are-
  • Don’t be surprised if your oncologist does not discuss common side effects such as oral mucositis-

Oral mucositis is a condition characterized by inflammation and ulceration of the mucous membranes in the mouth. Preventing or healing oral mucositis may involve various approaches. Some potential therapies include:

  1. Good Oral Hygiene:
    • Maintaining good oral hygiene practices, such as regular brushing and flossing, can help prevent oral mucositis.
  2. Topical Agents:
    • The use of topical agents, such as oral rinses or gels, prescribed by a healthcare professional, may help manage symptoms and promote healing.
  3. Pain Management:
    • Pain management strategies, including the use of analgesics or other medications, can be considered to alleviate discomfort.
  4. Avoiding Irritants:
    • Avoiding tobacco, alcohol, and spicy or acidic foods that can irritate the mouth may be beneficial.
  5. Nutritional Support:
    • Adequate nutrition is crucial for overall health and healing. In some cases, nutritional supplements may be recommended (curcumin, green tea, mulberry syrup, more)
  6. Medications: (see below)
    • Depending on the severity of oral mucositis, healthcare professionals may prescribe medications to help reduce inflammation or manage pain.
  7. Cryotherapy:
    • Cryotherapy, which involves the use of ice chips during certain medical treatments, has been explored as a preventive measure for oral mucositis.
  8. Low-Level Laser Therapy:
    • Some studies suggest that low-level laser therapy may be effective in preventing or reducing the severity of oral mucositis.

Every time I come across a study about oral mucositis I write a blog post. This is probably my 10 posts about OM over the past 15 years. My point is that there are many conventional (FDA approved) and non-conventional therapies shown to reduce or even prevent oral mucositis.

Are you about to undergo therapy or do you already struggle with OM? To learn more about oral mucositis therapies list me know- David.PeopleBeatingCancer@gmail.com

Hang in there,

David Emerson

  • Cancer Survivor
  • Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

The Effect of Oral Care With Black Mulberry Extract on Oral Mucositis, Dry Mouth, and Weight Gain in Patients With Cancer

Findings: For both groups, mean scores indicated a statistically significant decrease in mucositis and dry mouth at all three time points. Mean scores were significantly lower in the intervention group on days 7 and 15. At all three time points, increases in weight were statistically significant for the intervention group but not for the control group. Increased weight gain in the intervention group was statistically significant when comparing the two groups on days 7 and 15…”

The effect of three different solutions on preventing oral mucositis in cancer patients undergoing stem cell transplantation: a non-randomized controlled trial: A Turkish study – NON-RANDOMISED TRIAL

  • Group 1 had patients using chlorhexidine gluconate and benzydamine hydrochloride solution.
  • Group 2 had those using calcium and phosphate solution.
  • Group 3 patients were using black mulberry syrup.


Cryotherapy consists of the use of ice chips when bolus 5-FU chemotherapy is administered. This cryotherapy induces a temporary vasoconstriction, reducing blood flow and chemotherapy delivery to oral mucosa ()…

Low level laser therapy

Low level laser therapy (LLLT) is also an important part of the prevention strategies of mouth mucositis (). This procedure has been shown to be effective in patients receiving HDC and HSCT (; )…


Amifostine is a radioprotectant pro-drug that when dephosphorylated protects normal but not malignant cells against oxygen-based radicals, alkylator or organoplatinum anticancer drugs (), and radiotherapy…


Chlorhexidine reduces mucosal colonization by microorganisms, but this effect has never been translated into clinical benefits for patients receiving either chemotherapy or conventional or high-dose radiotherapy (). In a randomized trial, chlorhexidine was found to be less effective and more toxic than a placebo rinse in patients with head-and-neck tumors receiving radiotherapy ()…


Gelclair®was approved by the FDA in 2002 as a class 1 medical device. It is a bioadherent gel that works by forming a coating over mucosal lesions. Gelclair consists of polyvinylpyrrolidone, hyaluronic acid, and glycerrhetinic acid…


Benzydamine is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug used topically. It also has cytoprotective, anesthetic, and antimicrobial properties ()…


Glutamine is a neutral amino acid rich in nitrogen that plays an important role in mucosal cellular metabolism. In cancer patients treated by chemotherapy or radiotherapy, a significant glutamine depletion is frequently observed (). Conflicting results have been published about the effect of glutamine repletion in cancer patients. No positive effect was reported for patients receiving 5-FU chemotherapy (; )…

AES-14 (SaforisTM)

AES-14 (SaforisTM) by Aesgen Inc., Princeton, NJ, USA, is an oral suspension delivering concentrated L-glutamine to the oral mucosa through a proprietary vehicle…

Hematopoietic-growth factors

It has long been observed that mucositis often resolves within days of granulocyte recovery. Some reports suggest that granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) or granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) can reduce oral mucositis by accelerating neutrophil recovery ()…


Repifermin is the human keratinocyte growth factor 2 (KGF-2). This substance has been studied in a phase II trial in which patients received conditioning chemotherapy before autologous HSCT. Repifermin significantly decreased the incidence of grade 2 to 4 mucositis ()…


Palifermin is the recombinant keratinocyte growth factor 1 (rHuKGF-1). This molecule was purified from fibroblast culture fluid in 1989 as a protein of 26–28kDa ()…


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