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Exp Ther Med. 2012 Nov;4(5):933-937. Epub 2012 Aug 22.

Effects of calcium and magnesium on acute and chronic neurotoxicity caused by oxaliplatin: A meta-analysis.

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  • 1Key Laboratory of Chronobiology of Health Ministry, Basic and Forensic School, Sichuan University; ; Department of Oncology, Sichuan Academy of Medical Sciences, Sichuan Provincial People's Hospital, Chengdu, Sichuan 610041, P.R. China.


The primary toxicity of oxaliplatin is neurotoxicity. Calcium and magnesium (Ca/Mg) are reported to be beneficial in protecting against this adverse effect. However, the results obtained from clinical trials are not definitive. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether Ca/Mg alleviates the neurotoxicity of oxaliplatin by performing a meta-analysis of the literature involving available randomized controlled trials. Systematic searches for trials were undertaken from the Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, CENTRAL, Embase, CBMdisc and CNKI databases without language limitations. The primary outcome was severe chronic neurotoxicity and the secondary outcome was acute neurotoxicity. Four randomized double-blind trials met the search criteria. The odds ratio (OR) comparing Ca/Mg treatment with placebo was 0.44 (0.23-0.85, P=0.01) for severe chronic neurotoxicity of oxaliplatin (grade ≥2) and 0.41 (0.11-1.49, P=0.18) for acute neurotoxicity. In conclusion, Ca/Mg treatment does not reduce the incidence of acute neurotoxicity of oxaliplatin, but does reduce the incidence of severe chronic neurotoxicity (grade ≥2). No differences were observed in the outcomes of chemotherapy. Thus, Ca/Mg treatment is recommended for use as an adjunct with oxaliplatin.

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