Clinical practice guideline for the prevention of oral and oropharyngeal mucositis in pediatric cancer and hematopoietic stem cell transplant patients: 2021 update Journal Articles uri icon

  • Overview
  • Research
  • Identity
  • Additional Document Info
  • View All


  • PURPOSE: To update the 2015 clinical practice guideline for the prevention of oral mucositis in pediatric cancer or hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) patients. METHODS: We performed seven systematic reviews of mucositis prevention. Three reviews included randomized controlled trials (RCTs) conducted in pediatric and adult patients evaluating cryotherapy, keratinocyte growth factor (KGF) or photobiomodulation therapy with a focus on efficacy. Three reviews included studies of any design conducted in pediatric patients evaluating these same interventions with a focus on adverse events and feasibility. One review included all RCTs of any intervention for mucositis prevention in pediatric patients. Primary outcome was severe oral mucositis. RESULTS: We included 107 unique studies of cryotherapy (22 RCTs and 4 pediatric studies); KGF (15 RCTs and 12 pediatric studies); photobiomodulation therapy (29 RCTs and 8 pediatric studies) and any intervention (31 pediatric RCTs). Effects on severe mucositis reduction from RCTs were cryotherapy risk ratio (RR) 0.49 and 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.31-0.76; palifermin RR 0.81 and 95% CI 0.69-0.95 and photobiomodulation therapy RR 0.40 and 95% CI 0.27-0.60. Cryotherapy was not feasible in young children while photobiomodulation therapy was feasible across age groups. Palifermin was associated with adverse effects. CONCLUSIONS: Cryotherapy should be used for older cooperative pediatric patients who will receive short infusions of melphalan or 5-fluorouracil. Intraoral photobiomodulation therapy (620-750 nm spectrum) should be used in pediatric patients undergoing autologous or allogeneic HSCT and for pediatric head and neck carcinoma patients undergoing radiotherapy. Palifermin should not be used routinely in pediatric cancer or HSCT patients.


  • Patel, Priya
  • Robinson, Paula D
  • Baggott, Christina
  • Gibson, Paul
  • Ljungman, Gustaf
  • Massey, Nicholas
  • Ottaviani, Guilia
  • Phillips, Robert
  • Revon-Rivière, Gabriel
  • Treister, Nathaniel
  • White, Marie
  • Cabral, Sandra
  • Dupuis, Lee
  • Sung, Lillian

publication date

  • September 2021