A new molecule capable of preventing the
development of peripheral neuropathy induced by chemotherapy in cancer patients
- New molecule
found that can arrest the onset of chemotherapy-induced peripheral
neuropathy in cancer patients.
neuropathy is an adverse effect following the use of chemotherapy agents
usually in the case of colon cancer patients.
complication, so far, regarded as a "price to pay" for curing
the cancer can be averted with the discovery of the new drug.
, has been
successfully tested by HUB-ICO-IDIBELL researchers of the Neuro-Oncology Unit
of Bellvitge University Hospital - Catalan Institute of Oncology. The research
spearheaded by Dr. Jordi Bruna has discovered that this drug has a completely
novel mechanism of action and hence, would be the first treatment against this
neurological complication, for which no effective treatment has yet been
Certain chemotherapeutics or chemotherapy drugs cause an adverse effect called
This happens especially in colon cancer cases,
the third most common neoplasm in the world. Symptoms can be distressing and
include tingling, numbness, and pain or alterations in the functionality of
‘Cancer patients no longer need to pay the price for getting their tumors removed via chemotherapy as a new molecule has been discovered that will prevent the occurrence of the neuropathic pain that usually follows the procedure.
complication, has a negative impact on the quality of life of the patient, as
it increases their care expenses and hinders them from performing their daily
activities independently. These reasons often lead to dose reduction or early
termination of chemotherapy, with the potential decrease of survival chances
The new molecule
that has been identified seems to be a candidate to prevent the onset of this
A Phase 2b
clinical trial (randomized with placebo) was conducted through a public-private
partnership. The results from this clinical trial comprising of cancer patients
proved that the molecule causes a decrease in the appearance of disorders
associated with nerve dysfunction. Even though the new molecule could only be
used at low doses in relation to the duration of the chemotherapy treatment
(due to the prior safety data), positive results were still obtained. There is
now enough information to be able to extend the duration of the treatment.
who led the trial explains that "The trail has allowed us to get a great deal
of scientific information - effect on pain, pathophysiology - and draw
conclusions as to the potential of the drug in the prevention of neuropathies
during cytostatic treatment. Given the usual pace of clinical trials and drug
agencies following fast-track approval processes in severe or orphan
pathologies, this new drug could potentially reach the market soon, since it
would be the first available treatment to avoid this type of neuropathy. In
addition, it has other medical uses as a non-opioid analgesic".
Peripheral neuropathy (neuropathy meaning nerve
disease or damage) is damage that occurs to the peripheral nervous system
The PNS is the bridge that transmits information from the central nervous
system to the various parts of our body. While neuropathy can be painful and
potentially debilitating, very few forms are fatal.
occur are numbness or tingling, pricking sensations and muscle weakness.
Sometimes, stimuli that usually do not cause pain can provoke pain; another
symptom could be a very intense experience of touch. Patients could suffer from
these symptoms over a period of days, weeks, or years. The pain can be acute or
Chemotherapy-induced Peripheral Neuropathy
Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy
(CIPN) is often a severe side effect associated with several
chemotherapeutic agents including platinum agents, taxanes, vinca alkaloids,
thalidomide, and bortezomib.
In fact, a
recent meta-analysis of more than 4000 chemotherapy-treated patients found the
prevalence of CIPN to be
within the first month of chemotherapy treatment
at 3 months
at 6 months
Hence, the pain, sensory changes, and weakness caused by the
chemotherapy often call for dose reductions, changes in chemotherapy protocols,
or termination of a therapeutic agent.
There is no doubt
that improving pain control
and reducing the occurrence of severe neuropathy is undoubtedly the most
prominent benefit of the development of this novel drug.
- Jordi Bruna, Sebastián Videla, Andreas A. Argyriou, Roser Velasco, Jesús Villoria, Cristina Santos, Cristina Nadal, Guido Cavaletti, Paola Alberti, Chiara Briani, Haralabos P. Kalofonos, Diego Cortinovis, Mariano Sust, Anna Vaqu�, Thomas Klein, Carlos Plata-Salamán. Efficacy of a Novel Sigma-1 Receptor Antagonist for Oxaliplatin-Induced Neuropathy: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Phase IIa Clinical Trial. Neurotherapeutics, 2017; DOI: 10.1007/s13311-017-0572-5
- What is peripheral neuropathy? - (https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Fact-Sheets/Peripheral-Neuropathy-Fact-Sheet)
- Addington J, Freimer M. Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy: an update on the current understanding. F1000Research. 2016;5:F1000 Faculty Rev-1466. doi:10.12688/f1000research.8053.1.