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Impact of Oral Side Effects from Conditioning Therapy Before Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation: Protocol for a Multicenter Study

Journal article
Authors M. T. Brennan
Bengt Hasséus
A. J. Hovan
J. E. Raber-Durlacher
N. M. A. Blijlevens
M. C. Huysmans
K. G. Legert
J. E. Johansson
C. G. Moore
Inger von Bültzingslöwen
Published in Jmir Research Protocols
Volume 7
Issue 4
ISSN 1929-0748
Publication year 2018
Published at Institute of Odontology, Section 1
Institute of Odontology, Section 3
Language en
Keywords mucositis, hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, chemotherapy, xerostomia, cohort studies, graft, receiving cancer-therapy, quality-of-life, systematic reviews, complications, infections, mucositis, pain, Health Care Sciences & Services
Subject categories Dentistry, Health Sciences, Cancer and Oncology


Background: The oral cavity is a common site of complications related to the cytotoxic effect of high-dose chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Considering our limited understanding of the burden of illness in the oral cavity from various cytotoxic therapies, it is difficult to produce evidence-based, preventive and management protocols. A prospective multicenter study is necessary to collect data on the burden of illness from various cytotoxic regimens. Objective: The objectives of this prospective international observational multicenter study in hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) patients are to establish the nature, incidence and temporal relationship of oral complications related to conditioning regimens (chemotherapy with or without total body irradiation), stem cell transplantation and the immunologic reactions (mainly graft-vs-host-disease) that may follow, and to determine what subjective and objective oral complications related to treatment can predict negative clinical and economic outcomes and reduced quality of life. Methods: Adult patients at six study sites receiving full intensity conditioning, reduced intensity conditioning or nonmyeloablative conditioning, followed by autologous or allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell infusion, are included. A pre-treatment assessment includes medical conditions, planned chemo- and radiation therapy regimen, medications, allergies, social history, patient report of oral problems, dental history, subjective oral complaints, objective measures of oral conditions, current laboratory values, dental treatment recommended and untreated dental disease. Starting 1-3 days after hematopoietic stem cell infusion, a bedside assessment is completed 3 days per week until resolution of neutropenia. A patient questionnaire is also completed during hospitalization. Beyond this time, patients with continued oral mucositis or other oral problems are followed 1 day per week in an inpatient or outpatient setting. Additional visits for urgent care for acute oral problems after hospitalization are documented. Autologous transplant patients are being followed up at 100 days (SD 30 days) and at 1 year (SD 30 days) post-transplantation to identify any long-term side effects. Patients treated with allogeneic transplantation are being followed at 100 days (SD 30 days), 6 months (SD 30 days), and 12 months (SD 30 days). The follow-up assessments include cancer response to therapy, current medical conditions, medications, subjective and objective oral findings, quality of life measures and laboratory values. The targeted enrollment is 254 patients who have received HSCT. Results: A total of 260 participants have been enrolled, with 233 (91%) who have received HSCT. We anticipate enrollment of 20-30 additional participants to obtain the sample size of 254 enrolled participants who have received HSCT. Conclusions: The results of the ongoing prospective study will provide a unique dataset to understand the impact of oral complications on patients undergoing HSCT and provide needed evidence for guidelines regarding the management of this patient cohort.

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