UConn HealthThe Carole and Ray Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center

Multidisciplinary Head and Neck Cancer/Oral Oncology Program

Photo of Rajesh V. Lalla, D.D.S., Ph.D., C.C.R.P.Rajesh V. Lalla, D.D.S., Ph.D., C.C.R.P.

Dr. Lalla is a board-certified clinician and scholar who conducts clinical research on a variety of oral mucosal disorders, including mucositis secondary to cancer treatment, recurrent aphthous stomatitis (canker sores) and oral candidiasis (thrush). His research has been funded by the federal government (through the National Institutes of Health), the American Cancer Society, the Donaghue Foundation, and industry. In addition to clinical care and research, Dr. Lalla is also involved in clinical and classroom teaching. He serves on several institutional committees including as a Vice-Chair of the Institutional Review Board (IRB), which oversees conduct of clinical research, the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Clinical Research Center, and the Strategic Planning Committee of the School of Dental Medicine. Dr. Lalla holds several leadership positions at the international level. He serves as the Chair of the Mucositis Study Group of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer and the International Society for Oral Oncology (MASCC/ISOO), as Chair of the MASCC Guidelines Committee, and as a member of the MASCC Board of Directors. Dr. Lalla has written more than 55 scientific articles or book chapters, many of them dealing with oral complications in cancer patients. He is also asked to speak on oral complications of cancer therapy at the local and international levels. He has reviewed articles written by others for over 20 scientific journals. Dr. Lalla also serves as a consultant on various topics including oral mucositis, oropharyngeal candidiasis, recurrent aphthous stomatitis, and clinical trial design and outcomes.


  • Associate Professor with Tenure, Section of Oral Medicine, University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine
  • Attending Staff, Department of Dentistry, John Dempsey Hospital


  • Oral Medicine

D.D.S., University of Bombay, India
Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences, UConn Health

Oral Medicine, UConn Health

Postdoctoral Fellowship Training
Clinical Research, UConn Health

Certified Clinical Research Professional (CCRP)
Diplomate of the American Board of Oral Medicine


  • Head and Neck Cancer and Oral Oncology Program, Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center

Honors and Awards

  • Best Scientific Paper: National level award at Indian Dental Association Student Conference, 1994.

  • Graduate Fellowship: University of Connecticut, 1995-1999.

  • Lester Burket Memorial Award: National level award from the American Academy of Oral Medicine, 1999.

  • Travel Fellowship: to attend conference on Mucosal Injury in Cancer Patients, 2000.

  • Edward H. Hatton Award: First Place, Senior Category. National level research award from the American Association of Dental Research (AADR), 2001. Selected to represent the AADR at the international level competition.

  • Best Poster: 17th International Symposium of the Multinational Association for Supportive Care in Cancer/ International Society for Oral Oncology (MASCC/ISOO), 2005.

  • Young Investigator Award: 17th International Symposium of the Multinational Association for Supportive Care in Cancer/ International Society for Oral Oncology (MASCC/ISOO), 2005.

  • P.J. Robinson Award for Junior Faculty: Awarded in recognition of significant scholarly research and teaching accomplishments, 2006.

Selected Publications

Book Chapters
Lalla RV, Peterson DE, Brennan MT and Schubert MM; Oral Toxicity. In The Chemotherapy Sourcebook, 4th edition, edited by Michael C. Perry. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Baltimore, MD, 2007.

Peterson DE and Lalla RV. Mucositis in Patients Receiving Cancer Therapy. In Cancer Supportive Care: Advances in Therapeutic Strategies. 1st Edition, edited by G. Lyman and J. Crawford. Informa Healthcare, New York, NY, 2008.

Lalla RV and Peterson DE. Oral Symptoms. In Palliative Medicine. 1st edition, edited by Declan Walsh. Elsevier, Philadelphia, PA, 2008. 1st Spanish edition 2010.

Lalla RV. Oral Mucositis. (Invited monograph). British Medical Journal Point-of-Care 2009. Tool for physicians and other medical personnel. Available at www.pointofcare.bmj.com and at www.epocrates.com. Updated 2011.

Peterson DE and Lalla RV. Overview of Complications of Systemic Chemotherapy. In Oral Complications of Cancer and its Management. 1st edition, edited by A. Davies and J. Epstein, Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK, 2010.

Lalla RV, Brennan MT and Schubert MM. Oral Complications of Cancer Therapy. In Pharmacology and Therapeutics for Dentistry, 6th edition, edited by J. Yagiela, F. Dowd, B. Johnson, A. Mariotti and E. Neidle. Mosby/Elsevier, St. Louis, MO, 2010.

Lalla RV and Keefe DMK. Mucositis (oral and gastrointestinal). In The MASCC Textbook of Cancer Supportive Care and Survivorship, edited by I. Olver. Springer, NY. 2010.

Lalla RV. Fungal Infections. In Oral Complications of Chemotherapy and Head/Neck Radiation, edited by D. Peterson. National Cancer Institute PDQ Cancer Information Summaries (Supportive Care).  Published online March 24, 2011.

Brennan MT, Lalla RV, Schubert MM, and Peterson DE. Oral Toxicity. In The Chemotherapy Sourcebook, 5th edition, edited by Michael C. Perry, Donald C. Doll, and Carl E. Freter. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Baltimore, MD, 2012.

Articles in Scientific Journals (Selected from 47 Articles)
S. Sonis et al for the Mucositis Study Group (includes R Lalla); Validation of a New Scoring System for Assessment of Clinical Trials Research of Oral Mucositis Induced by Radiation or Chemotherapy. Cancer, 85(10): 2103-2113, 1999.

Raber-Durlacher JE, Barasch A, Peterson DE, Lalla RV, Schubert M, Fibbe WE. Oral Complications And Management Considerations In Patients Treated With High-Dose Cancer Chemotherapy. Supportive Cancer Therapy. 1(4):219-229, 2004.

Lalla RV and Peterson DE. Oral Mucositis. Dental Clinics of North America, 49(1):167-184, 2005.

Lalla RV. Velafermin. Current Opinion in Investigational Drugs, 6(11): 1179-1185, 2005. Also published in the online Investigational Drugs Database.

Lalla RV, Schubert MM, Bensadoun RJ, Keefe D. Anti-inflammatory agents in the management of alimentary mucositis. Supportive Care in Cancer, 14(6):558-565, 2006.

Bensadoun RJ, Schubert MM, Lalla RV, Keefe D. Amifostine in the management of radiation-induced and chemo-induced mucositis. Supportive Care in Cancer. 14(6): 566-572, 2006.

Lalla RV and Peterson DE. Treatment of Mucositis - Including New Medications. The Cancer Journal 12(5): 348-354, 2006.

Keefe DM et al; Mucositis Study Section (includes Lalla RV). Updated clinical practice guidelines for the prevention and treatment of mucositis. Cancer ; 109(5):820-31, 2007.

Lalla RV, Sonis ST, Peterson DE. Management of Oral Mucositis in Patients Who Have Cancer. Dent Clin North Am, 52(1):61-77, 2008.

Lopes NNF, Plapler H, Chavantes MC, Lalla RV, Yoshimura EM, Alves MTS. Cyclooxygenase-2 and vascular endothelial growth factor expression in 5-fluorouracil-induced oral mucositis in hamsters: evaluation of two low-intensity laser protocols. Supportive Care in Cancer, 17(11):1409-15, 2009.

Lalla RV, Pilbeam CC, Walsh SJ, Sonis ST, Keefe DMK, Peterson DE. Role of the Cyclooxygenase Pathway in Chemotherapy-induced Oral Mucositis: A Pilot Study. Supportive Care in Cancer, 18(1):95-103, 2010.

Lalla RV , Latortue MC, Hong CH, Ariyawardana A, D’Amato-Palumbo S,  Fischer D, Martof A, Nicolatou-Galitis O, Patton L,  Elting LS, Spijkervet FKL, Brennan MT. Fungal Infections Section, Oral Care Study Group, Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer (MASCC)/International Society of Oral Oncology (ISOO). A Systematic Review of Oral Fungal Infections in Patients Receiving Cancer Therapy. Supportive Care in Cancer,18(8):985-92, 2010.

Peterson DE and Lalla RV. Oral Mucositis: the New Paradigms. Current Opinion in Oncology, 22(4):318-22, 2010.

Lopes NNF, Plapler H, Lalla RV, Chavantes MC, Yoshimura EM, da Silva MAB, Alves MTS. Effects of Low Level Laser Therapy on Collagen Expression and Neutrophil Infiltrate in 5-Fluorouracil-Induced Oral Mucositis in Hamsters. Lasers in Surgery and Medicine, 42(6):546-552, 2010.

Lalla RV, Bensadoun RJ. Miconazole mucoadhesive tablet for oropharyngeal candidiasis. Expert Reviews in Anti-Infective Therapy, 9(1):13-17, 2011.

Bensadoun RJ, Patton LL, Lalla RV, Epstein JB. Oropharyngeal candidiasis in head and neck cancer patients treated with radiation: update 2011. Supportive Care in Cancer, 19(6):737-44, 2011.

Lalla RV. Translating Mucositis Research from Animal Models to Humans. Journal of Supportive Oncology. 9(5):169, 2011.

Paper icon View more publications, see Pubmed listing.

Clinical Interests
Oral complications of cancer therapy, oral mucosal disease including oral mucositis, oropharyngeal candidiasis and recurrent aphthous stomatitis.

Research Interests

Clinical Research

  • Oral mucosal disease, including mucositis secondary to cancer therapy, recurrent aphthous stomatitis and oral candidiasis.

  • Role of oral microorganisms in causing systemic infections, in cancer patients with central venous catheters and in patients with hemodialysis access devices.

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