Deciphering novel chemotherapy and its impact on dentistry


In the last few decades, the number of targeted chemotherapies approved for cancer treatment and undergoing clinical trials has risen. In comparison to conventional chemotherapy, targeted therapies (TTs) act on specific molecular targets involved in cancer development and progression, with reduced detrimental effects to normal tissues. TTs have now been recognised as key treatments in a number of common cancers, including solid tumours and haematological malignancies. The number of patients undergoing novel cancer treatment will continue to increase, and a significant population will likely present to the dental environment. This paper aims to provide an insight into TTs currently available, including monoclonal antibodies, fusion proteins, tyrosine kinase inhibitors, histone deacetylase inhibitors, mammalian target of rapamycin inhibitors, phosphoinositide 3-kinase inhibitors, proteasome inhibitors and hedgehog pathway inhibitors. The mechanisms of action, indications for use and how to identify the medications will be summarised. Dental implications of these novel therapies include medication-related osteonecrosis of the jaw, delayed healing, immunosuppression and thrombocytopenia. These will be discussed to ensure oral healthcare providers are aware of their impact in a dental setting.

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King, R., Zebic, L. & Patel, V. Deciphering novel chemotherapy and its impact on dentistry. Br Dent J 228, 415–421 (2020).

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