Cancer Supportive Care

Oral Mucositis

A common, debilitating complication of cancer therapy
Oral mucositis is a painful inflammatory disease that develops in more than 80% of cancer patients receiving chemoradiation therapy.1 Patients may manifest oral mucositis as early as the first week of cancer treatment, which begins as mild inflammation and quickly leads to ulcerative lesions. As a result, eating and swallowing become difficult, and patients often require feeding tube installation and narcotic drug use to relieve the pain. Unfortunately, these complications commonly lead to reductions in cancer therapy dosing and treatment interruptions.
Oral mucositis progresses through four stages.2 In the initiation stage, cells damaged by radiation and chemotherapy release molecules that initiate toxic immune responses through the activation of innate immune receptors. Activation leads to increased production and accumulation of inflammatory components at the injured tissue site, triggering the invasion of inflammatory immune cells and the primary damage response stage. More inflammatory molecules and cells then become activated, resulting in the death of cells damaged in the initiation phase and the destruction of neighboring healthy tissues (amplification stage). These inflammatory events ultimately lead to the development of painful and debilitating lesions in the mouth (ulceration stage) that are susceptible to bacterial infection.
Mitigating Oral Mucositis

As an innovative, mechanism-based solution, GlycoMira is developing GM-1111 to potently inhibit the activation of the innate immune receptors responsible for the initiation and amplification of inflammatory disease in the oral cavity. Minimizing the inflammatory effects caused by innate immune receptors at the earliest stage of oral mucositis will mitigate the disease progressing to ulcerative lesions. Patients will ultimately experience improvements in cancer therapy efficacy and outcomes by reducing the serious adverse effects caused by chemoradiation therapy.

  1. Pulito C, Cristaudo A, La Porta C, Zapperia S, et al. Oral Mucositis: The Hidden Side of Cancer Therapy. J Exp Clin Cancer Res, 2020;39(210).
  2. Villa A, Sonis ST. Mucositis: Pathobiology and Management. Curr Opin Oncol, 2015;27(3):159.