Current standard treatments for cancer are associated with major dose-limiting toxic effects on healthy tissue. The mucosal layers of the body are particularly sensitive to regimen-induced damage, with patients suffering many unpleasant and potentially life-threatening side-effects. In recent years, there has been an increase in the understanding of the pathobiology of regimen-related mucosal injury which has lead to a number of exciting inventions for its prevention and treatment being recently patented. Agents such as growth factors, cytokines, receptor agonists/antagonists and antiinflammatory agents are among those in development in this emerging field. The complexity of mucosal injury poses a challenge for researchers, however rational targeting of intervention strategies to critical mechanisms will lead to further progress.
Keywords: Mucosal injury, mucositis, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, inflammation, apoptosis, growth factor, intestine, oral
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