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Cooling Technology Helps Prevent Oral Mucositis

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 24 Feb 2021
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Image: The Cooral System for cooling the oral cavity (Photo courtesy of BrainCool)
Image: The Cooral System for cooling the oral cavity (Photo courtesy of BrainCool)
A single-use intraoral device cools the back of the mouth where arteries enter the oral cavity, preventing the mucositis that follows cancer treatments.

The BrainCool (Lund, Sweden) Cooral System features a disposable, thermostatically controlled intra-oral device that comprises closed conduits with continuously circulating water to evenly distribute the hypothermic medium to the oral mucosa, via a mouthpiece inserted into the patient’s mouth. As the consistently controlled circulated water reaches a steady temperature of 8°C, cooling the oral mucosa, it leads to reduced blood flow and exposure of tissue to chemotherapeutic agents, thus preventing soreness, erythema, and painful ulcerative lesions.

“Intra-oral cooling to prevent or mitigate oral mucositis represents an important, safe, and effective technology for selected cohorts of oncology patients,” said Douglas E. Peterson, DMD, PhD, a consultant to BrainCool. “Based on my several decades of research and clinical experience relative to oral mucositis caused by cancer therapies, reduction of the severe pain and ulceration associated with the condition is key, especially for patients on aggressive treatment schedules for whom delays due to oral mucositis may be life-threatening.”

“Cooling is a well-known method to prevent this chemo-induced side effect, but it is only limitedly applied in clinics because using ice water is painful for the patient and poorly tolerated during the entire treatment time. Risk of infection can also be a deterrent,” said Professor Roger Henriksson, MD, PhD, of the University of Umeå (Sweden). “Oncologists all over the world are in need of a better cooling method to prevent oral mucositis and thus improving the quality of life for the patients. The Cooral System is an important step forward and much-needed technology.”

Oral Mucositis has been reported as the singlemost debilitating complication of cancer therapy, and can be present in combination with additional incapacitating symptoms, such as intractable oral pain, undernourishment, weight loss, and impaired quality of life. It can also represent a portal of entry for systemic infections that can lead to sepsis and death. Taken together, these symptoms, along with their related sequelae, can result in hospitalization and increased costs for healthcare systems.

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