Emerging Trends in Understanding Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy
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- Ferrier, J., Pereira, V., Busserolles, J. et al. Curr Pain Headache Rep (2013) 17: 364. doi:10.1007/s11916-013-0364-5
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Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) is a major concern in oncology practice given the increasing number of cancer survivors and the lack of effective treatment. The incidence of peripheral neuropathy depends upon the anticancer drug used, but is commonly under-reported in clinical trials. Several animal models have been developed in an attempt to better characterize the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying these CIPN and to find more specific treatments. Over the past two decades, three main trends have emerged from preclinical research on CIPN. There is a compelling body of evidence that neurotoxic anticancer drugs affect the peripheral sensory nerve by directly targeting the mitochondria and producing oxidative stress, by functionally impairing the ion channels and/or by triggering immunological mechanisms through the activation of satellite glial cells. These various neurotoxic events may account for the lack of effective treatment, as neuroprotection may probably only be achieved using a polytherapy that targets all of these mechanisms. The aim of this review is to describe the clinical features of CIPN and to summarize the recent trends in understanding its pathophysiology.