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Chronic Pain and Neuropathy Following Adjuvant Chemotherapy

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Objective: To determine symptoms and characteristics of chronic sensory neuropathy in patients treated with oxaliplatin and docetaxel, including patterns of somatosensory abnormalities, pain descriptors, and psychological functioning.

Design: A retrospective cross-sectional study.

Setting: A chronic pain research center.

Subjects: Thirty-eight patients with chronic peripheral pain and/or dysesthesia following chemotherapy.

Methods:  Sensory profiles, psychological functioning, and quality of life were assessed using standardized questionnaires. In addition, standardized quantitative sensory testing and nerve conduction studies were carried out.

Results: The sensory profiles and clinical symptoms were very similar in the two groups. Pricking, numbness, and burning were common descriptors in both groups, and the predominant finding was sensory loss to A beta-mediated sensory modalities with decreased mechanical and vibration detection thresholds. A high frequency of abnormalities in thermal sensory limen and the presence of paradoxical heat sensation seem to be sensitive markers of small fiber loss. Both groups had mainly sensory, axonal large fiber or mixed fiber polyneuropathy, which tended to be most severe in the oxaliplatin group.

Conclusions: Both oxaliplatin-induced and docetaxel-induced polyneuropathies represent a significant problem that affects the daily life of the patients. Our results, defining the somatosensory phenotype, can improve the understanding of the pathophysiological mechanisms useful for future studies in the tailored treatment of prevention of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy and pain.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPain Medicine
Pages (from-to)1813-1824
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2018

    Research areas

  • Journal Article

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