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Int J Clin Oncol. 2011 Aug;16(4):322-7. doi: 10.1007/s10147-010-0183-1. Epub 2011 Jan 22.

The Kampo medicine, Goshajinkigan, prevents neuropathy in patients treated by FOLFOX regimen.

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Department of Surgery, Institute of Health Biosciences, The University of Tokushima, 3-18-15 Kuramoto, Tokushima, 770-8503, Japan.



Oxaliplatin is now considered a standard treatment for advanced or unresectable colorectal cancer, but its main dose-limiting toxicity is sensory neuropathy. The OPTIMOX (stop and go) approach offers a reasonable strategy, but the preventive agent is not established. It is reported that the Kampo medicine, Goshajinkigan (GJG), has recently been considered an effective agent for the neuropathy of taxanes and for vibration sensation in patients with diabetic neuropathy. The aim of this study was to clarify the efficacy of GJG for peripheral neuropathy associated with oxaliplatin therapy.


From 2007, 45 patients treated with modified FOLFOX6 for non-resectable or recurrent colorectal cancer participated in the study. Twenty-two patients (GJG group) received oral administration of 7.5 g/day of GJG every day during mFOLFOX6 therapy and 23 patients (control group) did not receive GJG. Neuropathy was evaluated during every course according to DEB-NTC (Neurotoxicity Criteria of Debiopharm).


The median number of cycles per patient in the GJG group was 13 (range 4-32), and in the control group was 12 (range 4-28). The cumulative dose of oxaliplatin was 1105 mg/m(2) (GJG group) and 1120 mg/m(2) (control group). The incidence of grade 3 peripheral neuropathy in the GJG group was significantly lower than in the control group (p < 0.01, log-rank test). The incidence of grade 3 peripheral neuropathy after 10 courses was 0% in the GJG group and 12% in the control group, and after 20 courses was 33% in the GJG group and 75% in the control group. The percentage of grade 2 and 3 peripheral neuropathy in the GJG group was lower than that in the control group. There were no differences in adverse effects between the two groups except for peripheral neuropathy and influence on tumor response.


The Kampo medicine, Goshajinkigan, is useful in preventing neuropathy in non-resectable or recurrent colorectal cancer patients treated with a FOLFOX regimen.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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