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Mar 28, 2013
 |  BC Innovations  |  Targets & Mechanisms

SMAD men

University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine researchers have shown that topical application of the signaling protein Smad7 can treat and prevent oral mucositis in mice.1 The team will now test the compound in mice with cancer-associated mucositis-a condition with limited therapeutic options.

Oral mucositis can occur in a variety of clinical settings. In particular, it is a serious side effect in about 80% of patients with head and neck cancer receiving high-dose radiotherapy.2 It causes severe pain and can force patients to use a feeding tube and ventilation apparatus, and it may lead to serious infections in mucosal sores and ulcerations.

Standard of care is a combination of scrupulous oral hygiene and antibiotics. The only targeted oral mucositis drug is Kepivance palifermin, a recombinant keratinocyte growth factor (KGF) marketed by Swedish Orphan Biovitrum AB to treat oral mucositis in patients with blood...

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