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Int J Clin Oncol. 2015 Aug;20(4):767-75. doi: 10.1007/s10147-015-0784-9. Epub 2015 Jan 28.

Preventive effect of Goshajinkigan on peripheral neurotoxicity of FOLFOX therapy (GENIUS trial): a placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized phase III study.

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Department of Surgery and Science, Graduate School of Medical Science, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan,



Peripheral sensory neurotoxicity is a frequent adverse effect of oxaliplatin therapy. Calcium and magnesium (Ca/Mg) infusions are frequently used as preventatives, but a recent phase III trial failed to show that they prevent neurotoxicity. We therefore conducted a multicenter randomized phase III trial to compare fluorouracil, leucovorin, and oxaliplatin (mFOLFOX6) with and without Goshajinkigan (GJG), a traditional Japanese herbal medicine (Kampo), to determine GJG's potential for reducing peripheral neuropathy in patients with colorectal cancer.


Patients with colon cancer who were undergoing adjuvant therapy with infusional mFOLFOX6 were randomly assigned to GJG (7.5 mg three times daily) or placebo in a double-blind manner. The primary endpoint was the time to grade 2 or greater neuropathy, which was determined at any point during or after oxaliplatin-based therapy using version 3 of the National Cancer Institute Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (NCI CTCAE).


An interim analysis was performed when 142 of the planned 310 patients had been enrolled and the safety assessment committee recommended that the study be discontinued. One hundred eighty-two patients were evaluable for response. They included 89 patients in the GJG group and 93 patients in the placebo group. The incidence of grade 2 or greater neurotoxicity was 50.6 % in the GJG group and 31.2 % in the placebo group. A Cox proportional hazards analysis indicated that the use of GJG was significantly associated with the incidence of neuropathy (hazard ratio, 1.908; p = 0.007).


Goshajinkigan did not prevent oxaliplatin-associated peripheral neuropathy in this clinical trial. The clinical study was therefore terminated.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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