Delta Dental Foundation funds mucositis research

The Delta Dental Foundation has awarded a research grant of $22,958 to Beaumont Hospitals Research Institute in Royal Oak, MI, to study ways of reducing the severity of oral mucositis, a side effect of chemotherapy and radiation in patients with oral cancer.

Oral mucositis can cause discomfort, pain, swollen tissue, and often open sores and ulcers. Some cases are mild, but severe cases can cause life-threatening infections and interfere with eating, swallowing, and even speaking.

In some cases, chemotherapy and radiation must be interrupted or suspended, directly affecting patient survival.

"This grant will allow us to collect the primary data we need to seek additional funding from the National Institutes of Health," said George D. Wilson, Ph.D., chief of radiation biology at Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak. "A better understanding of the biology underlying mucositis will help us to devise treatment strategies that maximize the killing of the oral cancer but minimize the damage to the tissues of the mouth."

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