Chemotherapy-Induced First Bite Syndrome: A Case Report in a Patient With Hodgkin Lymphoma

Carla V. Valenzuela, Nancy L. Bartlett, Joseph P. Bradley

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3 Scopus citations


Vinca alkaloids are known to cause bilateral jaw pain that occurs once during the chemotherapy course. We report a patient with first bite syndrome (FBS) during active treatment with chemotherapy. A patient with Hodgkin lymphoma presented with unilateral jaw pain after beginning his chemotherapy regimen. Pain was worse with the first bite of each meal and dissipated over subsequent bites. Workup was negative for any lesions in the parotid, parapharyngeal space, or infratemporal fossa. Pain was timed closely with chemotherapy administration and would improve prior to next cycle. A trial of botulinum chemodenervation failed to completely relieve symptoms. The patient noted resolution of symptoms after the completion of chemotherapy. We report a case of FBS, which may represent the jaw pain seen commonly with administration of vinca alkaloids. There appears to be a correlation between onset and duration of first bite symptoms with chemotherapy administration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E30-E31
JournalEar, Nose and Throat Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 1 2019


  • Hodgkin lymphoma
  • chemotherapy
  • first bite syndrome
  • jaw pain


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