Oral cavity overinfection during non surgical cancer therapies: Review of the literature

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Introduction. Oral mucositis represents one of the most frequent acute side effects during cancer therapies (chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy). It has been hypo the sized that microbial (bacteria, fungi) over infection of oral mucosa may enhance intensity and duration of mucositis. For this reason, a lot of studies have been performed in order to evaluate the efficacy of oral cavity bacterial decontamination and/or prevention and treatment of oral candidiasis. Patients and methods. A comprehensive search of MEDLINE up to December 2007 (with no language restriction) was performed. "Mucositis", "Chemotherapy" and "Radiotherapy" were the key words used. Results. Sixty clinical studies matched the key words listed above. Most papers were focused on oral cavity bacterial decontamination and prevention and/or treatment of oral candidiasis. Recent international guidelines and critical reviews of literature were also considered. Conclusion. Available literature data do not support the use of preventive bacterial decontamination of oral cavity by antimicrobial agents. On the contrary, some evidences exist that prophylaxis of oral candidiasis with antimicotic agents (like fluconazole) could to be efficacious to reduce the impact of oral mucositis but further larger randomized trials are needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-138
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Clinical Dentistry
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)


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