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Stem Cell Transplant Side Effects-MM-Oral Mucositis

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Pain from the condition (oral mucositis) can slow or delay cancer treatment (stem cell transplant), 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 transplant (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.

To Learn more about oral mucositis- click now

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…”

Traditional Chinese medicine reduces side effect of cancer treatment

“For tens of thousands of Australians who receive radiotherapy as part of their cancer treatment, mucositis is a serious side effect that may cause inflammation, ulcers, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain and bloating…

“This is extremely important because mucositis limits the amount of therapy cancer patients can receive and significantly affects their quality of life…”

“The study found that the rats which received CKI to their abdomen had reduced severity of GIM symptoms compared to the which had the control substance. These findings build on previous studies we have done which showed CKI has significant effects on in , including genes that regulate inflammation….”

Ice-Based Therapy May Prevent Chemotherapy-Related Mucositis

“Cryotherapy was shown to decrease the rate of oral mucositis — a condition where small, painful sores develop in the mouth — in patients with breast cancer undergoing treatment with the chemotherapy agent doxorubicin, according to recent research presented at the 48th Annual Oncology Nursing Society Congress.

Cryotherapy is the use of cold to prevent or treat certain symptoms. In this instance, patients would hold ice chips in their mouths for 10 minutes before their chemotherapy infusion, for 10 minutes during the infusion and then 10 minutes after, explained study author Kara Morris, an oncology nurse at the Washington University Siteman Cancer Center in St. Louis, Missouri.

Of note, a similar method of cryotherapy has previously been studied to prevent chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy.

While mucositis is a common side effect for patients receiving this type of therapy, 78% of individuals who used cryotherapy on the trial reported that they did not experience the side effect; 22% of patients reported mucositis, though most cases were minor and able to be resolved without intervention.

Additionally, none of the patients reported not be able to tolerate the cold, making cryotherapy a “cost-effective intervention to aid in (the) reduction of mucositis and positively impact the quality of life for breast cancer patients during their treatment,” the study authors wrote.

“We’re pleasantly surprised at the outcome of 78%,” Morris said in an interview with CURE®’s sister publication, Oncology Nursing News®. “We’re excited that this intervention was helpful in the prevention of mucositis, which is a commonly experienced side effect of these breast cancer patients receiving doxorubicin.”



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