Supportive Care in Cancer

, Volume 22, Issue 8, pp 2261–2269 | Cite as

Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy and its association with quality of life: a systematic review

  • Floortje MolsEmail author
  • Tonneke Beijers
  • Gerard Vreugdenhil
  • Lonneke van de Poll-Franse
Review Article



The objective of this study was to systematically review all available literature concerning chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) and quality of life (QOL) among cancer patients.


A computerized search of the literature was performed in December 2013. Articles were included if they investigated CIPN and QOL among cancer patients. Twenty-five articles were selected and were subjected to a 13-item quality checklist independently by two investigators.


The methodological quality of the majority of the selected studies was adequate to high. The included studies differed tremendously with respect to study design (19 prospective studies, 5 cross-sectional, 1 both cross-sectional and prospective), patient population (lung, colorectal, ovarian, endometrial, cervical or breast cancer, lymphoma, acute lymphoblastic leukemia, or a mixed population), number of included patients (ranging from 14 to 1643), and ways to assess CIPN (objectively, subjectively, or both). Of the 25 included studies, 11 assessed the association of CIPN on patients’ QOL. While three of these studies did not find an association between CIPN and QOL, the others concluded that more CIPN was associated with a lower QOL.

Implications for cancer survivors

Although the included studies in this systematic review were very diverse, which impedes drawing firm conclusions on this topic, CIPN is likely to have a negative association with QOL. The variety of the studied patient populations and chemotherapeutic agents in the existing studies calls for further studies on this topic. These studies are preferably prospective in nature, include a large number of patients, and assess QOL and CIPN with validated questionnaires.


Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy Cancer Quality of life 



The present research was supported by a VENI grant (#451-10-041) from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (The Hague, The Netherlands) awarded to Floortje Mols and a Cancer Research Award from the Dutch Cancer Society (#UVT-2009-4349) to Lonneke V. van de Poll-Franse.

Conflict of interest

There is no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Floortje Mols
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Tonneke Beijers
    • 3
  • Gerard Vreugdenhil
    • 3
    • 4
  • Lonneke van de Poll-Franse
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.CoRPS - Center of Research on Psychology in Somatic Diseases, Department of Medical and Clinical PsychologyTilburg UniversityTilburgThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Comprehensive Cancer Centre Netherlands (CCCN)Eindhoven Cancer RegistryEindhovenThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department of Internal MedicineMaxima Medical CentreVeldhovenThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Department of Medical OncologyMaastricht University Medical CentreMaastrichtThe Netherlands

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