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Oral Complications of Chemotherapy and Head/Neck Radiation (PDQ®): Supportive care - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Oral and Dental Management Before Cancer Therapy

Table 4. Oral Complications of Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation continued...

Phase V: Long-term Survival

Long-term survivors of cancer treated with high-dose chemotherapy alone or chemoradiotherapy will generally have few significant permanent oral complications.

Risk for radiation-induced chronic complications is related to the total dose and schedule of radiation therapy. Regimens that incorporate total body irradiation may result in permanent salivary gland hypofunction/xerostomia,[8] which is the most frequently reported late oral complication. Permanent salivary gland dysfunction can occur in autologous transplant patients in addition to nonautologous recipients. Other significant complications include craniofacial growth and developmental abnormalities in pediatric patients, and emergence of second malignancies of the head/neck region.


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  2. Epstein JB: Infection prevention in bone marrow transplantation and radiation patients. NCI Monogr (9): 73-85, 1990.
  3. Hong CH, Napeñas JJ, Hodgson BD, et al.: A systematic review of dental disease in patients undergoing cancer therapy. Support Care Cancer 18 (8): 1007-21, 2010.
  4. Lalla RV, Brennan MT, Schubert MM: Oral complications of cancer therapy. In: Yagiela JA, Dowd FJ, Johnson BS, et al., eds.: Pharmacology and Therapeutics for Dentistry. 6th ed. St. Louis, Mo: Mosby Elsevier, 2011, pp 782-98.
  5. Schubert MM, Peterson DE: Oral complications of hematopoietic cell transplantation. In: Appelbaum FR, Forman SJ, Negrin RS, et al., eds.: Thomas' Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation: Stem Cell Transplantation. 4th ed. Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009, pp 1589-1607.
  6. Williford SK, Salisbury PL 3rd, Peacock JE Jr, et al.: The safety of dental extractions in patients with hematologic malignancies. J Clin Oncol 7 (6): 798-802, 1989.
  7. Overholser CD, Peterson DE, Bergman SA, et al.: Dental extractions in patients with acute nonlymphocytic leukemia. J Oral Maxillofac Surg 40 (5): 296-8, 1982.
  8. Jensen SB, Pedersen AM, Vissink A, et al.: A systematic review of salivary gland hypofunction and xerostomia induced by cancer therapies: prevalence, severity and impact on quality of life. Support Care Cancer 18 (8): 1039-60, 2010.

WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute

Last Updated: February 25, 2014
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