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Drudge-Coates, Lawrence; Wyngaert, Tim van den; Schiodt, Morten; Muilekom, H. A. M. van; Demonty, Gaston; Otto, Sven (2020): Preventing, identifying, and managing medication-related osteonecrosis of the jaw: a practical guide for nurses and other allied healthcare professionals. In: Supportive Care in Cancer, Vol. 28, No. 9: pp. 4019-4029
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Background: Medication-related osteonecrosis of the jaw (MRONJ) is an infrequent, but potentially serious, adverse event that can occur after exposure to bone-modifying agents (BMAs;e.g., bisphosphonates, denosumab, and antiangiogenic therapies). BMAs are typically used at higher doses to prevent skeletal-related events in cancer patients and at lower doses for osteoporosis/bone loss. MRONJ can cause significant pain, reduce quality of life, and can be difficult to treat, requiring a multiprofessional approach to care. Methods: We reviewed the literature and guidelines to summarize a practical guide on MRONJ for nurses and other allied healthcare professionals. Results While there is a risk of MRONJ with BMAs, this should be considered in relation to the benefits of treatment. Nurses and other allied healthcare professionals can play a key role alongside physicians and dentists in assessing MRONJ risk, identifying MRONJ, counseling the patient on the benefit-risk of BMA treatment, preventing MRONJ, and managing the care pathway of these patients. Assessing patients for MRONJ risk factors before starting BMA treatment can guide preventative measures to reduce the risk of MRONJ. Nurses can play a pivotal role in facilitating multiprofessional management of MRONJ by communicating with patients to ensure compliance with preventative measures, and with patients' physicians and dentists to ensure early detection and referral for prompt treatment of MRONJ. Conclusions: This review summarizes current evidence on MRONJ and provides practical guidance for nurses, from before BMA treatment is started through to approaches that can be taken to prevent and manage MRONJ in patients receiving BMAs.