Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Some Children Facing Bone Marrow Transplant Risk

Date:
September 13, 2005
Source:
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
Summary:
Many children who undergo bone marrow transplantation (BMT) as part of cancer treatment already have dental abnormalities that leave them vulnerable to potentially life-threatening bacterial infections, according to investigators at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

Many children who undergo bone marrow transplantation (BMT) as part ofcancer treatment already have dental abnormalities that leave themvulnerable to potentially life-threatening bacterial infections,according to investigators at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Areport on this study appears in the prepublication online edition ofBone Marrow Transplantation.

Related Articles


The investigators found that the most common dental problem in childrenabout to undergo BMT was tooth decay, often resulting from neglectedoral hygiene and poor nutrition. Tooth decay is especially dangerous inchildren undergoing BMTs because physicians must first suppress theirimmune systems to reduce the chance of transplant rejection. Therefore,children about to undergo immunosuppression as part of BMTs should havedental checkups, said Sue C. Kaste, D.O., a member of St. JudeRadiological Sciences. "It's important to make sure they do not havecavities that could act as doorways to the bloodstream fordisease-causing bacteria," she said.

The St. Jude investigators made their findings during a retrospectivestudy of the medical records and X-rays of the entire set of teeth in259 children (age range 3.2 to 25.9 years) who underwent BMT. The mostcommon diagnosis among these children was leukemia (63 percent); whilethe other children were found to have solid tumors (14 percent), anemia(8 percent), or brain tumors (3 percent). In addition, one child hadretinoblastoma (eye cancer) and one had severe combinedimmunodeficiency. One hundred fifty of these patients were male, 203were Caucasians and 38 were African-American.

The St. Jude team found that, before BMT, 150 (57.9 percent) of the 259patients had dental abnormalities. Among patients who still had their"first" teeth before BMT, 36.4 percent had dental abnormalities; amongpatients with permanent teeth, 66.7 percent had dental abnormalities;and among patients with both first and permanent teeth, 52.3 percenthad abnormalities. There was no difference in frequency ofabnormalities in permanent teeth between males (65.5 percent) andfemales (67.5 percent), nor was there a difference between Caucasians(69 percent) and African-Americans (70 percent).

The most common dental abnormality identified in the study was caries(tooth decay), which was seen in 133 (51 percent) patients. Among otherdental problems were abnormal clumps of enamel on the tooth andcalcification (hardening) of the tooth pulp (the soft inner matter inteeth containing nerves and blood vessels).

A variety of factors can cause tooth decay in pediatric patients wholater undergo BMTs. For example, previous studies by other researchershave found that children receiving chemotherapy and radiation are atincreased risk of tooth damage that causes decay. Radiation can alsoreduce the amount of saliva released by the mouth's salivary glands,which in turn can lead to growth of decay-causing bacteria.

Some children undergoing cancer treatment also develop ulcers in thelining of their mouths, which discourage them from eating certainfoods. Instead, these children prefer sweet foods, which don't sting,but do promote tooth decay. In addition, some children undergoingcancer treatments must consume high levels of carbohydrates to ensurethey get enough calories, which also encourages the growth ofdecay-causing bacteria.

Since small cuts in the tissue around teeth caused by brushing couldbecome serious sources of blood loss, children are sometimes forbiddento brush their teeth if they suffer from severely reduced levels ofplatelets--blood cells that trigger clot formation. Finally, youngchildren often cannot brush their own teeth properly, and their parentsmight fail to brush their children's teeth.

"Our findings clearly show that children about to undergo bone marrowtransplantation should be examined for dental problems that mightpromote infections," said Christopher C. Rowland, D.D.S., the dentistin the Department of Surgery at St. Jude and a co-author of the paper."This is also an opportune time to educate patients and parents aboutproper oral hygiene. Meticulous dental care can minimize thedevelopment of therapy-related caries. Follow-up examinations aftertransplantation and immunosuppression will also help to minimizesources of potential infection."

Other authors of the paper include Mitchell D. Vaughan (University ofTennessee Health Science Center, Memphis); Xin Tong, D. KumarSrivastava, Gregory A. Hale and Richard Rochester (St. Jude).

###

This work was supported in part by the National Institutes of Health and ALSAC.

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is internationally recognized forits pioneering work in finding cures and saving children with cancerand other catastrophic diseases. Founded by late entertainer DannyThomas and based in Memphis, Tenn., St. Jude freely shares itsdiscoveries with scientific and medical communities around the world.No family ever pays for treatments not covered by insurance, andfamilies without insurance are never asked to pay. St. Jude isfinancially supported by ALSAC, its fund-raising organization. For moreinformation, please visit www.stjude.org.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. "Some Children Facing Bone Marrow Transplant Risk." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 September 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050913000414.htm>.
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. (2005, September 13). Some Children Facing Bone Marrow Transplant Risk. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050913000414.htm
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. "Some Children Facing Bone Marrow Transplant Risk." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050913000414.htm (accessed February 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could a $34 Smartphone Device Improve HIV Diagnosis in Africa?

Could a $34 Smartphone Device Improve HIV Diagnosis in Africa?

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Feb. 27, 2015) A dongle that plugs into a Smartphone mimics a lab-based blood test for HIV and syphilis and can detect the diseases in 15 minutes, say researchers. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor Says Head Transplants Possible Within Two Years

Doctor Says Head Transplants Possible Within Two Years

Buzz60 (Feb. 27, 2015) An Italian doctor is saying he could stick someone&apos;s head onto someone else&apos;s body. Patrick Jones (@Patrick_E_Jones) reports. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Your Dentist Could Help Screen You For Diabetes

How Your Dentist Could Help Screen You For Diabetes

Newsy (Feb. 27, 2015) A new study from researchers at New York University suggests dentists could soon use blood samples taken from patients&apos; mouths to test for diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Tips to Makeover Your Health

The Best Tips to Makeover Your Health

Buzz60 (Feb. 27, 2015) If you&apos;re looking to boost your health this season, there are a few quick and easy steps to prompt you for success. Krystin Goodwin (@Krystingoodwin) has the best tips to give your health a makeover this spring! Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins