Oral problems in immunotherapy
Oral toxicities in cancer patients, who receive immunotherapy: A case series of 24 patients. Oral (MDPI) 2023, 3, 123-133, https://www.mdpi.com/2673-6373/3/1/11.
Immunotherapy is a revolution in Oncology. Immunotherapy restores and activates anti-tumor immunity. However, it may also mount an immune-related inflammatory reaction with variable clinical presentations in healthy tissues, including the mouth.
Toxicities and collaboration
A collaborative scientific group from Greece, in a series of 24 patients receiving immunotherapy, reported immune-related problems in 15 patients. They also described, for the first time in the literature, 6 fungal and viral-herpetic infections, which were successfully treated. Six cases of osteonecrosis of the jaw were also diagnosed.
The other treatments
All patients had received or were receiving other additional treatments and anti-resorptive drugs for the bones, which may contribute to an increased risk of complications. For example chemotherapy has been found to increase periodontitis which, in turn, has been related to increased the risk of osteonecrosis of the jaw.
Good oral health
According to the above, and many other scientific studies, good oral health can prevent and/or reduce the risk of complications in the oral cavity during oncological therapy.
The necessity of vigilance
The increasing use of immunotherapy in Oncology, the increase in the types of cancer being treated and the need to combine therapies, in a real-world setting, emphasizes the necessity of awareness of physicians and dentists, to the oral problems related to immunotherapy.
The educational programs
Educational programs were recommended, which will increase awareness and communication between the members of the multidisciplinary team, and will lead to a successful diagnosis and treatment of toxicity and will maintain patients’ good quality of life.
We extend our warmest appreciations for the excellent support of the Journal ORAL – MDPI during all the stages of submission and reviewing!