Biomarkers of regimen-related mucosal injury

Cancer Treat Rev. 2011 Oct;37(6):487-93. doi: 10.1016/j.ctrv.2011.05.007.


Regimen-related mucosal toxicity is extremely common following cytotoxic chemotherapy and radiotherapy. The alimentary mucosa is particularly susceptible to injury and dysfunction, leading to a constellation of adverse side effects. Currently there is no "one fit" biomarker of such injury. A number of biomarkers have been investigated in the context of gastrointestinal diseases, which may prove useful in the oncology arena. Two of significant potential include citrulline and calprotectin, however more work is required to define the most appropriate settings for their use. Identification of a biomarker that is easily obtained, measured, and accurately indicates mucosal damage, would allow for improved patient diagnosis of toxicities and prompt appropriate intervention. In this review, we highlight the effectiveness of currently examined biomarkers and discuss future avenues for research in this exciting area.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects*
  • Biomarkers / analysis*
  • Humans
  • Mucositis / chemically induced
  • Mucositis / diagnosis*
  • Mucous Membrane / drug effects
  • Mucous Membrane / injuries*
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Prognosis


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Biomarkers