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MASCC Oral Care Study Group


Chair: Deborah P. Saunders, BSc, DMD ( - Canada
Vice-Chair: Siri Beier Jensen, DDS, PhD ( - Denmark

2016 Minutes  - Annual Meeting - Adelaide, Australia


The Oral Care Study Group’s major goals are to enhance knowledge of the wide range of oral complications associated with cancer therapies and to support the translation into improved clinical management for patients. The group’s objectives are to understand the clinical impact of the wide variety of oral complications. These include xerostomia, dysgeusia, dysphagia, oral pain, fungal infection, viral infection, osteoradionecrosis, osteonecrosis from bisphosphonates, dental disease and trismus.

The Study Group aims to develop and coordinate new evidence-based management guidelines. In addition, the Oral Care Study Group serves as a resource for collaborative research efforts among members of this group as well as other members of MASCC and ISOO. Another focus of the Oral Care Study Group is education for members of MASCC and ISOO. The group will undertake multiple, systematic reviews of the incidence and prevalence or oral complications of cancer therapy, as well as their management, effects on quality of life, and economic impact. Efforts are underway to establish a multicenter study of members of the Oral Care Study group to prospectively collect data on various outcomes related to oral complications of cancer therapy.

2017 Workshop

2017 Annual Meeting Workshop, June 22, Washington, DC
How Adherence to Guidelines Increases the Cost-Effectiveness of Supportive Care Interventions
The need to increase the cost-effectiveness of medical treatments is recognized around the globe. One way to increase cost-effectiveness is by following evidence-based guidelines that consider cost containment. This workshop is intended to provide evidence for the need to adhere to such guidelines, both to improve outcomes and to ensure that available resources are used in the most appropriate manner. We will review current guidelines from this perspective and note possible negative consequences of non-adherence. We will also highlight the importance of a multidisciplinary approach to cancer treatment and supportive care.

This workshop will be offered jointly by the following MASCC Study Groups: Antiemetics; Neutropenia, Infection, and Myelosuppression; Oral Care;  Psychosocial.
Workshop Chair: Bernardo Rapoport

Past Workshops

Clinical Research Initiative

Diagnostic and Management Practices for Oral Chronic Graft-Versus-Host Disease (cGVHD)
The Oral Care Study Group conducted a study on the diagnosis and treatment of oral chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD). The study was designed to assess common practices, as well as to determine use of the National Institute of Health scale for the diagnosis and grading of oral cGVHD. The project was headed by Sharon Elad, DMD, MSc, Eastman Institute for Oral Health, University of Rochester Medical Center.

A survey was distributed to Oral Care Study Group and MASCC/ISOO members in order to identify medical centers with experience in managing patients with oral cGVHD. The structured survey contained questions about the respondents’ demographics, whether or not they treat oral cGVHD, evaluation tools, diagnostic aids, topical treatments, and preventive measures. >> Read More

Study Group News

New Oral Care Education Materials  
Members of the International Society of Oral Oncology (ISOO) and MASCC’s Oral Care Study Group have created four multilingual Fact Sheets and an Oral and Nutritional Care Education Video Storyboard that provide instructions for patients undergoing chemotherapy or head-and-neck radiation therapy. These materials provide instructions on caring for the mouth during active chemotherapy, and on self-care before, during, and after head-and-neck radiation. The Fact Sheets, based on systematic reviews, guidelines, and up-to-date, evidenced-based recommendations, are available in 18 languages.

MASCC Study Group Chairs Leading Study on Oral Complications of Radiotherapy 
Dr. Michael Brennan and Dr. Raj Lalla are the Co-Principal Investigators of an NIH-funded study, Treatment Outcomes from Head and Neck Cancer Therapies. An award of $8 million was made, in 2012, to Carolinas HealthCare System (CHS) to conduct a multi-center study.

The research team is studying dental and oral medicine outcomes among patients who have received high-dose radiation to the head and neck region. These outcomes include a permanent decrease in saliva production (hyposalivation) and impaired healing of bone around the teeth (osteoradionecrosis), adverse effects with a major impact on quality of life and risk for further dental complications.

Dr. Brennan is the current President of the International Society of Oral Oncology and recently served as the Chair of the Oral Care Study Group of MASCC. Dr Lalla is the current Chair of the MASCC Mucositis Study Group and also is a MASCC Board Member.

Recent Member Publications

Oral Care Study Group members have published widely in Supportive Care in Cancer and many other journals. See a selection of recent articles.


Related Links

Please contact the Study Group Chairs above with your questions.
MASCC Study Group Coordinator, Don Gubitosa