Chemotherapy is a proven treatment to eliminate the cancer cells either in conjunction with surgical intervention or as a standalone method. As a systematic drug treatment, chemotherapy is administered throughout the entire body either intravenously or orally.
Although chemotherapy significantly reduces symptoms caused by cancer and prolongs survival, it often causes significant side effects in patients. Sensory side effects may occur as well as functional impairment with motor tasks; this is known as Chemotherapy-Induced Neuropathic Pain.
Chemotherapy-Induced Neuropathy, which can greatly decrease the ability for patients to receive a full dose of life-saving or prolong treatments. Often the symptoms are too severe for patients to increase treatments at optimal dosages.
What is Chemotherapy-Induced Neuropathic Pain?
Neuropathic pain is caused by damage or disease that impacts the a diverse sensory system made of receptors and processing sensors that produce sensations such as touch, temperature, body position, and pain. Some of the drugs in chemotherapy treatments can damage nerves.
Chemotherapy-Induced Neuropathic Pain can manifest itself in many symptoms:
- Pain of very types and durations
- Tingling, numbness, loss of feeling
- Balance problems, which may lead to stumbling or falling
- Sensitivity to pressure and temperature changes
- Muscle weakness and loss
- Impaired motor skills
- Difficulty passing urine
- Changes in reflexes
- Difficulty swallowing
Chemotherapy-Induced Neuropathy symptoms most commonly begin farthest away from the head, starting in the hands and feet, and move closer in time. Symptoms may begin anytime during the first chemotherapy treatment and usually worsen with additional administrations of the drugs.
The Chemotherapy-Induced Neuropathic Pain symptoms may be present for a short period of time or could be long-lasting. Factors like age, other medical conditions, drug frequency and dose, additional medications, family history and dosage may influence the longevity of Chemotherapy-Induced Neuropathic Pain.
Chemotherapy-Induced Neuropathic Pain may impact daily activities and result in severe pain episodes as well as limit the ability for cancer patients to receive a full series of chemotherapy. There is no sure-fire method to preventing Chemotherapy-Induced Neuropathic Pain, but the use of vitamins may reduce the presentation of symptoms. Learn methods thought to prevent Chemotherapy-Induced Neuropathic Pain here.
If severe, Chemotherapy-Induced Neuropathic Pain may cause more serious problems: falls, difficulty breathing, changes in blood pressure and heart rate, paralysis, and organ failure. Because chemotherapy drugs kill cancer cells by different mechanisms, and the nerve damage can result in different ways, treating Chemotherapy-Induced Neuropathic Pain is difficult. Learn more about treatment of Chemotherapy-Induced Neuropathic Pain here.
Jean Brown Research is conducting a study of an investigational medication for Chemotherapy-Induced Neuropathic Pain.
Participants 18 and older with Chemotherapy-Induced Neuropathic Pain who are selected for the study will receive a no-cost investigational pain medication, healthcare related to the study, and compensation up to $700 for time and travel.