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Oral Oncol. 2009 Oct;45(10):844-8. doi: 10.1016/j.oraloncology.2009.03.018. Epub 2009 May 20.

Advances in understanding of toxicities of treatment for head and neck cancer.

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Oral Pathology, School of Dentistry, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA 5005, Australia.


Toxicities associated with head and neck cancer treatment are common events. Despite the fact that many side effects of cancer treatment are now well controlled, some, such as mucositis and salivary gland hypofunction, continue to be almost inevitable outcomes of cancer treatment. Furthermore, improvements in cancer treatment itself as well as new modalities, such as targeted treatments, may be associated with different toxicities. In this review, common toxicities associated with head and neck cancer treatment will be discussed including those reported to occur with targeted therapies. This review also considers the concept of toxicity clusters, risk factors for toxicity (for example genetics) and individualisation of cancer treatment.

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