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Papers of the Week

Papers: 8 Jun 2019 - 14 Jun 2019

Human Studies, Pharmacology/Drug Development

2019 Jun 09

BMJ Open



Effectiveness assessment of riluzole in the prevention of oxaliplatin-induced peripheral neuropathy: RILUZOX-01: protocol of a randomised, parallel, controlled, double-blind and multicentre study by the UNICANCER-AFSOS Supportive Care intergroup.



Most patients (>70%) experience acute neuropathic symptoms shortly after oxaliplatin infusions. These symptoms are not always resolved between infusions. Overall, 30%-50% of patients suffer from chronic oxaliplatin-induced peripheral neuropathy (OIPN). This cumulative and dose-dependent sensory neuropathy limits compliance or results in oxaliplatin-based chemotherapies to be substituted with less neurotoxic agents. These treatment changes impair clinical outcomes, and may be associated with comorbidities, such as distress, depression and anxiety. Currently, no drug used to prevent or treat OIPN is sufficiently effective to be used routinely in clinical practice. There is, thus, an unmet therapeutic need to reduce the intensity of and/or prevent OIPN. We hypothesised that riluzole would be an excellent candidate to address this public health issue. Riluzole is approved for treating amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. In animals, there is a beneficial effect on sensorimotor and pain disorders, as well as related comorbidities, after repeated administration of oxaliplatin. In humans, riluzole has shown neuroprotective, anxiolytic and antidepressive effects.