As reported by The Hartford Courant, June 7, 2004.

Oral Rinse Reduces Chemotherapy Sores

By William Hathaway

A new oral rinse cut the incidence of painful mouth sores that are a side effect of chemotherapy by 22 percent in breast cancer patients, according to a new study released Sunday.

The painful sores, known as oral mucositis, afflict up to 400,000 cancer patients in the United States alone. They decrease cancer patients' quality of life and are one of the main reasons why patients suspend treatment, said Dr. Douglas Peterson, head of the department of oral diagnosis at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine and associate director of the UConn Cancer Center.

Peterson was the lead investigator in Stage III clinical trials of the medicated rinse, called Saforis, on behalf of its developer, Aesgen Inc. of Princeton, N.J. He presented his findings Sunday at the annual meeting of the American Society for Clinical Oncology in New Orleans.

Saforis is in line for fast track federal approval for general use next year, Peterson said.

In the study, which followed 2,046 Russian women with breast cancer and oral mucositis, some received Saforis and some received a placebo.

There were no indications of serious side effects from the treatment, Peterson said.