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Suwwan headshot 2Investigator: Dr. Ihab Suwwwan

Disease: Oral Mucositis

Research Description: Oral mucositis (OM) is a significant side effect for children who undergo stem cell transplants to treat bone marrow cancers. OM can result in ulcers in the mouth, causing pain when eating, poor nutrition and increased risk of infection. OM can also negatively affect the quality of life of patients, reduce the tolerability of cancer treatment and result in high overall cost due to hospitalization. Currently there is no cure for OM, and it is usually only managed when symptoms already develop. Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) has been used for a variety of different conditions, including musculoskeletal pain and injury, lymphedema and temporomandibular joint disorders. In addition, there appears to be promising evidence for the use of LLLT, for both OM prevention and treatment, in adult cancer patients. However, LLLT effectiveness has not yet been established in the pediatric population. This project will repurpose a LLLT device to prevent OM among children undergoing stem cell transplants before it begins. The research team hopes their findings will pave the way for a new method to address and reduce OM as a burdensome side effect of cancer treatment

CWR funding role: Primary funder

Start date: January 2018

Most recent report: This project is anticipated to start in January 2018. 

Anticipated next steps:

→ Data published in a scientific journal and/or presented at a scientific conference 

→ Data support off-label clinical use

→ Data will be used in larger clinical trial

→ Data leveraged into larger philanthropic or government funding for this treatment

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