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Suwwan headshot 2Investigator: Dr. Ihab Suwwan

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 patients’ ability to tolerate cancer treatment and result in high overall cost due to increased hospitalization. Currently there is no cure for OM, and it is usually only managed once painful symptoms have already developed. Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) has been used for a variety of different conditions, including musculoskeletal pain and injury, lymphedema and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) 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 before it begins among children undergoing stem cell transplants. If successful, there will be a new method to address and reduce OM as a burdensome side effect of critical cancer treatment.

CWR funding role: Primary funder 

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