Supportive Care in Cancer

, Volume 21, Issue 7, pp 2059–2066 | Cite as

Falls and functional impairments in cancer survivors with chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN): a University of Rochester CCOP study

  • J. S. Gewandter
  • L. Fan
  • A. Magnuson
  • K. Mustian
  • L. Peppone
  • C. Heckler
  • J. Hopkins
  • M. Tejani
  • G. R. Morrow
  • S. G. Mohile
Original Article



This study was conducted in order to characterize the prevalence of falls and functional impairments (FIs) and their association with chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) in cancer survivors.


We analyzed baseline assessments from a phase III RCT in cancer survivors with self-reported CIPN scores of >4 out of 10. Patients completed the EORTC QLQ-CIPN-20 for neuropathy and reported falls in the previous 3 months. FIs were defined using the Activities of Daily Living subsection of the Vulnerable Elder’s Scale. Associations of baseline characteristics and CIPN with falls and FIs were examined using logistic regression.


Of 421 patients, 11.9 % experienced recent falls and 26.6 % reported FIs. Motor neuropathy was the only factor associated with falls (OR = 1.127, p = 0.01). Factors associated with FIs included non-white race (OR = 0.335 white relative to non-white, 0.781, p = 0.01) and greater motor neuropathy scores (OR = 1.262, p < 0.0001).


CIPN, primarily motor, is associated with falls and FIs. Future prospective research should investigate the ability of motor neuropathy severity to predict falls.


Falls Functional impairments Neuropathy Cancer survivors 



This work was funded by the National Cancer Institute (R25CA10618 and U10CA37420). The work was also funded by a generous gift from Sandy Lloyd to the Geriatric Oncology Program at the James Wilmot Cancer Center. The study sponsors had no role in the study design, data collection, or data interpretation. We thank the patients, clinicians, and researchers of the University of Rochester Community Clinical Oncology Program who contributed to this study.

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose. We have full control of all primary data and agree to allow the journal to review the data if requested.

Supplementary material

520_2013_1766_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (28 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 28 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. S. Gewandter
    • 1
  • L. Fan
    • 2
  • A. Magnuson
    • 3
  • K. Mustian
    • 1
  • L. Peppone
    • 1
  • C. Heckler
    • 1
  • J. Hopkins
    • 4
  • M. Tejani
    • 3
  • G. R. Morrow
    • 1
  • S. G. Mohile
    • 3
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Radiation OncologyUniversity of Rochester Medical CenterRochesterUSA
  2. 2.Department of Public HealthUniversity of Rochester Medical CenterRochesterUSA
  3. 3.Department of Medicine, Hematology/OncologyUniversity of Rochester Medical CenterRochesterUSA
  4. 4.Southeast Cancer Control Consortium, Piedmont HEM/ONC AssocsKernersvilleUSA
  5. 5.Wilmot Cancer CenterRochesterUSA

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