Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy: Incidence and Effect on Quality of Life


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Cheney Wong1
1University of Manchester

Abstract

Background

Due to advancements in cancer treatment and higher survival rates, chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) has become an increasingly important side effect. CIPN mainly affects sensory nerves, resulting in neuropathic symptoms that can negatively impact quality of life (QoL). The aim of this study was to investigate the incidence of CIPN in patients receiving neurotoxic drugs and the impact of neurotoxicity on QoL.

Method

Thirty-eight patients receiving treatment with either carboplatin, cisplatin, paclitaxel or docetaxel were enrolled into this prospective observational study. Neurotoxicity was evaluated using the NCI-CTC neuropathy score while the impact of CIPN on QoL was assessed using the EORTC QLQ-C30, EORTC QLQ-CIPN20, FACT-G and FACT/GOG-Ntx questionnaires. CIPN and QoL assessments were performed at baseline and at every subsequent chemotherapy cycle.

Results

CIPN presented as a predominantly sensory neuropathy. Eighteen patients developed CIPN over a median of 4 chemotherapy cycles. FACT-G and FACT/GOG-Ntx assessments demonstrated CIPN to have a negative impact on QoL, especially on the domains of physical, social/family and functional well-being.

Conclusion

CIPN is a common side effect that negatively impacts QoL. As such, evaluation of CIPN and QoL should be integrated into cancer management so as to improve clinical outcomes and QoL.