Therapy of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy
Peripheral Nervous System Diseases
Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) is still a common and disabling side effect of many chemotherapy agents in use today. Unfortunately, neither prophylactic strategies nor symptomatic treatments have proven useful yet. This review will discuss the diagnosis and evaluation of neuropathy in cancer patients, as well as reviewing the various prophylactic and symptomatic treatments that have been proposed or tried. However, sufficient evidence is lacking to recommend any of these treatments to patients suffering with CIPN. Therefore, the best approach is to treat symptomatically, and to start with broad-spectrum analgesic medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). If NSAIDs fail, a reasonable second-line agent in properly selected patients may be an opioid. Unfortunately, even when effective in other types of neuropathic pain, anti-depressants and anticonvulsants have not yet proven effective for treating the symptoms of CIPN.