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Papers of the Week

Papers: 20 Feb 2021 - 26 Feb 2021

Pharmacology/Drug Development

2021 Feb 23

Support Care Cancer

Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN): current therapies and topical treatment option with high-concentration capsaicin.



Cancer diagnosis and treatment are drastic events for patients and their families. Besides psychological aspects of the disease, patients are often affected by severe side effects related to the cancer itself or as a result of therapeutic interventions. Particularly, chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) is the most prevalent neurological complication of oral or intravenous chemotherapy. The disorder may require dose reduction of chemotherapy and is accompanied by multiple symptoms with long-term functional impairment affecting quality of life (QoL), e.g., sensory and functional deteriorations as well as severe pain. Although CIPN may reverse or improve after termination of the causative chemotherapy, approximately 30-40% of patients are faced with chronicity of the symptoms. Due to the advantages in cancer diagnosis and treatments, survival rates of cancer patients rise and CIPN may occur even more frequently in the future. In this review, we summarize current recommendations of leading national and international societies regarding prevention and treatment options in CIPN. A special focus will be placed on current evidence for topical treatment of CIPN with high-dose capsaicin. Finally, an algorithm for CIPN treatment in clinical practice is provided, including both pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic modalities based on the clinical presentation.