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Support Care Cancer. 2005 Aug;13(8):647-51. Epub 2005 Feb 15.

Peripheral neuropathy induced by administration of cisplatin- and paclitaxel-based chemotherapy. Could it be predicted?

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  • 1Neurology Department, University of Patras Medical School, P.O. Box 1045, Rion, Patras, Greece.



The goal of this study was to investigate the potential role of clinical and electrophysiological signs of chemotherapy-induced neurotoxicity (CIPN) in predicting the final outcome of CIPN.


We prospectively studied 46 cancer patients treated with paclitaxel, cisplatin, or their combination-containing regimens for a nonmyeloid malignancy. The clinical evaluation of neuropathy was based on the modified Neurological Symptom and Neurological Disability Scores. Neurophysiological examination was also carried out. The battery of clinical and electrophysiological tests was repeated at the third and sixth courses of chemotherapy and up to 3 months after its cessation. Results of the clinical and electrophysiological study were summarized by means of a modified peripheral neuropathy (PNP) score.


Patients were divided according to the PNP scores obtained at follow-ups into those with better outcome (group 1, PNP <14, n=19) and those with worse outcome (group 2, PNP >15, n=27). In each patient and before the maximum severity of CIPN had been reached, the incidence of clinical and electrophysiological variables was determined and compared between groups. After univariate analysis two variables from the clinical evaluation and one from the neurophysiological evaluation were related to higher severity of CIPN and thus with worse outcome. Multivariate regression analysis defined only one of them, namely, the decrease sural a-SAP >50% of the baseline value, as being the sole, significant predictor of worse neurological outcome.


Our study indicates that a precise clinical evaluation combined with a detailed electrophysiological evaluation could predict the final neurological outcome of the cisplatin- or/and paclitaxel-based chemotherapy.

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