Oral complications of targeted cancer therapies: A narrative literature review

A. L. Watters, J. B. Epstein, M. Agulnik

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

103 Scopus citations


The aim of the present study was to investigate the available literature regarding the oral side effects or adverse events associated with targeted cancer therapy. Common oral toxicities include the terms mucositis, stomatitis, dysphagia, xerostomia, pharyngitis, and taste alterations. Aims of treatment included molecules and pathways involved in carcinogenesis reported in the literature were EGFRI, VEGF, mTOR, mAbs, TKIs, and multi-kinase inhibitors. Common targeted therapies used in clinical practice or under-investigation included cetuximab, panitumumab, erlotinib, sorafenib, sunitinib malate, imatinib mesylate, bevacizumab, trastuzumab, lapatinib, and mTORs. One hundred and forty-three articles were considered relevant and included in this review. The majority of studies did not specifically address oral toxicities or include an oral clinical exam, which may lead to underreported and under-investigated oral toxicities. Further investigation is necessary to determine if the initial impression that targeted therapy produces milder oral toxicities than conventional cancer treatment is accurate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)441-448
Number of pages8
JournalOral Oncology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2011


  • Cetuximab
  • Dental complications
  • Epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitor
  • Erbitux
  • Erlotinib
  • Head and neck cancer
  • Monoclonal antibody therapy
  • Mucositis
  • Nexavar
  • Oral adverse events
  • Oral cancer
  • Oral complications
  • Oral side effects
  • Oral toxicities
  • Panitumumab
  • Small molecule inhibitors
  • Sorafenib
  • Stomatitis
  • Sunitinib malate
  • Sutent
  • Tarceva
  • Targeted cancer therapy
  • Tyrosine kinase inhibitors
  • Vectibix

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oral Surgery
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Oral complications of targeted cancer therapies: A narrative literature review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this