Breast Cancer

, 11:92

Neurotoxicity of taxanes: Symptoms and quality of life assessment

  • Katsumasa Kuroi
  • Kojiro Shimozuma
Review Article

DOI: 10.1007/BF02968010

Cite this article as:
Kuroi, K. & Shimozuma, K. Breast Cancer (2004) 11: 92. doi:10.1007/BF02968010

Abstract

Paclitaxel (TXL) and docetaxel (TXT), especially TXL, cause neurotoxicity manifested as polyneuropa-thy. In clinical practice, detailed knowledge of the symptoms and effect on quality of life (QOL) of neurotoxicity is crucially important both for diagnosis of neuropathy and for management of patients treated with taxanes. In this review, we summarize the symptoms of neurotoxicity caused by taxanes, and highlight the importance of QOL assessment in breast cancer patients treated with taxanes. The most common feature of taxane neurotoxicity is a predominant sensory distal neuropathy, and the incidence and severity of the neuropathic manifestations appear to be related to dose level and cumulative dose. A mixture of paresthesias and dysesthesias is often prominent, and the complaints include burning dysesthesia, numbness, tingling, and shooting pains, typically in a stocking-glove distribution. In contrast to sensory disturbances, motor neuropathy is not well recognized, and is believed to be much less common than sensory neuropathy. Weakness is usually mild, and distal motor neuropathy caused by taxanes rarely affects patients’ activities of daily living. The effect of neurotoxicity on QOL is not fully understood, as no study has specifically assessed QOL in terms of neurotoxicity. There is therefore a clear need to collect more detailed data about QOL using well validated, reliable instruments. This will enable us to provide the information that patients require when treatment decisions are being made, and will help in the pursuit of the ameliorative interventions.

Key words

Neurotoxicity Taxane Quality of life Breast cancer 

Abbreviations

AC

Doxorubicin and cyclophoshamide

ADL

Activities of daily living

CPK

Creatine phosphokinase

CSPOR

Comprehensive Support Project for Oncological Research of Breast Cancer

EORTC QLQ

European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire

EQ-5D

EuroQOL 5 Dimension

FACT

Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy

HOR

Health Outcome Research

N-SAS BC

National Surgical Adjuvant Study of Breast Cancer

NTX

Physician neurotoxicity examination form

PNQ

Patient neurotoxicity questionnaire form

QOL

Quality of life

QOL-ACD

Quality of Life Questionnaire for Cancer Patients Treated with Anticancer Drugs

TXL

Paclitaxel

TXT

Docetaxel

Copyright information

© The Japanese Breast Cancer Society 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katsumasa Kuroi
    • 1
  • Kojiro Shimozuma
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of SurgeryShowa University, Toyosu HospitalKoutou-ku, TokyoJapan
  2. 2.Department of Hospital and Welfare ServiceFaculty of Service Industries, University of Marketing and Distribution SciencesJapan
  3. 3.Institute for Scientific Research of StressPublic Health Research FoundationJapan

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