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Patients with head and neck cancer were treated with synchronous radiotherapy and chemotherapy (vincristine, bleomycin and methotrexate). Before treatment, mucositis was absent and low amounts of prostaglandin-like material were extracted from peripheral plasma. As treatment proceeded mucositis occurred, and its degree correlated with the amount of prostaglandin-like material extracted from the plasma. Some patients were given moderate doses of drugs which inhibit prostaglandin synthesis, but mucositis still occurred.