Supportive Care in Cancer

, Volume 25, Issue 7, pp 2241–2248 | Cite as

Incidence of taxane-induced peripheral neuropathy receiving treatment and prescription patterns in patients with breast cancer

  • Su Jeong Song
  • Ji Min
  • Sung Yun Suh
  • Sun Hoi Jung
  • Hyeon Joo Hahn
  • Seock-Ah Im
  • Ju-Yeun Lee
Original Article



Taxane-induced peripheral neuropathy (TIPN) can affect quality of life and treatment outcomes in breast cancer patients. Despite the high incidence, treatment of PN has not been established. This study aimed to evaluate the incidence, risk factors, and prescribing pattern of TIPN receiving pharmacologic treatment in real-world practice.


We conducted a retrospective chart review of 1629 breast cancer patients who received taxanes at the Seoul National University Hospital from July 2012 to June 2014. We determined the incidence and predictors for TIPN treated with anti-neuropathic pain medications during taxane treatment and the 1-year follow-up period after discontinuation of taxanes. The prescribing pattern of anti-neuropathic drugs was also analyzed.


A total of 1516 patients with breast cancer were included, and the incidence of TIPN receiving treatment was 21.9% overall, with 42.2% of patients using paclitaxel and 15.8% using docetaxel. The median time to the first anti-neuropathic pain medication prescribed from the start of taxane treatment was 64 days and was significantly earlier in the paclitaxel group. In 21% of patients, TIPN treatment was started after the end of taxane treatment. Identified risk factors for TIPN were paclitaxel use (vs. docetaxel), old age, overweight, metastatic (vs. non-metastatic) breast cancer, and possibly a 3-weekly taxane schedule (vs. weekly). Gabapentin and pregabalin accounted for 71.7 and 24.3% of total use of anti-neuropathic agents, respectively.


One-fifth of breast cancer patients who were treated with taxane-based chemotherapy experienced TIPN receiving treatment, and its risk factors were paclitaxel use, old age, overweight, and metastatic cancer.


Docetaxel Paclitaxel Peripheral neuropathy Breast cancer Treatment 


Compliance with ethical standards

The institutional review board of the Seoul National University Hospital approved this study (IRB No. H-1508-139-697).

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflict to disclose. For this type of study, formal consent is not required.

All datasets generated and/or analyzed during the current study are under the control of authors and are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PharmacySeoul National University HospitalSeoulRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Department of Internal MedicineSeoul National University Hospital, Cancer Research Institute, Seoul National University College of MedicineSeoulRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.College of Pharmacy, Institute of Pharmaceutical Science and TechnologyHanyang UniversityAnsanSouth Korea

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