Supportive Care in Cancer

, Volume 18, Issue 10, pp 1263–1270 | Cite as

Heated (37°C) oxaliplatin infusion in combination with capecitabine for metastatic colorectal carcinoma: can it reduce neuropathy?

  • Richard CathomasEmail author
  • Dieter Köberle
  • Thomas Ruhstaller
  • Gisela Mayer
  • Andrea Räss
  • Ulrich Mey
  • Roger von Moos
Original Article



Oxaliplatin-associated neuropathy remains a dose-limiting toxicity of the standard chemotherapy regimen of oxaliplatin and capecitabine for metastatic colorectal cancer. No preventive strategy has definitively been established. Because this neuropathy is triggered by cold, we hypothesized that infusing oxaliplatin at 37°C might reduce neuropathy.


In this open-label pilot feasibility trial, patients with no prior chemotherapy for metastatic colorectal cancer were included. Treatment consisted of capecitabine 1,000 mg/m2 bid on days 1–14 and oxaliplatin 130 mg/m2 on day 1 of a 21-day cycle. The oxaliplatin infusion was administered through a fluid-warming device at a constant temperature of 37°C over 2 h. The primary endpoint was feasibility and drug reactions during the infusion. Secondary endpoints included acute and chronic neuropathy as well as response rate.


Twenty patients were enrolled, and a total of 95 cycles administered. Median cumulative oxaliplatin dose was 735 mg/m2. Apart from one patient with laryngeal spasm, no other infusion-related adverse events were observed. Of the patients, 35% reported grade 3/4 acute dysesthesia or paresthesia according to a patients questionnaire. Chronic neuropathy according to NCI CTC v3.0 was observed in 85% (grade 1) and 15% (grade 2), respectively. The overall response rate was 45% (95% CI 23–67%; 5% complete remission; 40% partial remission) and stable disease was achieved in another 30% of patients.


Administration of heated oxaliplatin in combination with capecitabine is feasible and well tolerated without additional toxicity. While we have observed a relatively low rate of chronic cumulative neuropathy with heated oxaliplatin, this procedure appears not promising enough for us to recommend its further clinical evaluation.


Metastatic colorectal cancer Oxaliplatin Heated chemotherapy Peripheral neuropathy Neurotoxicity 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard Cathomas
    • 1
    Email author
  • Dieter Köberle
    • 2
  • Thomas Ruhstaller
    • 2
  • Gisela Mayer
    • 1
  • Andrea Räss
    • 2
  • Ulrich Mey
    • 1
  • Roger von Moos
    • 1
  1. 1.Medical OncologyKantonsspital GraubündenChurSwitzerland
  2. 2.Department of Medical OncologyKantonsspital St.GallenSt. GallenSwitzerland

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