Chemotherapy-induced diarrhoea

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Purpose of review

Diarrhoea is a major manifestation of chemotherapy-induced mucositis that until recently has received very little attention. To date, there is no detailed understanding of the underlying mechanisms of the condition. The purpose of this review is to examine the plethora of recent studies, both in the laboratory and in the clinic, which have attempted to elucidate effective treatment options.

Recent findings

Over recent years, there have been many new treatment options trialled for ameliorating chemotherapy-induced diarrhoea. Some of these have shown great promise in small clinical studies and now need to be investigated in larger trials. Furthermore, there have been developments in the understanding of the underlying mechanisms of chemotherapy-induced diarrhoea. These developments may also lead to effective treatment options.


Here, we describe the current thinking behind the mechanisms of chemotherapy-induced diarrhoea and present current and new treatment options. This opinion article highlights the shift towards more effective research into diarrhoea caused by chemotherapy.

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