Is advanced age associated with increased incidence and severity of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy?

Research paper by Andreas A AA Argyriou, Panagiotis P Polychronopoulos, Angelos A Koutras, Gregoris G Iconomou, Philippos P Gourzis, Konstantinos K Assimakopoulos, Haralabos P HP Kalofonos, Elisabeth E Chroni

Indexed on: 16 Jul '05Published on: 16 Jul '05Published in: Supportive Care in Cancer


The current setting tested the hypothesis that advanced age would be strongly associated with increased incidence and severity of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN).We prospectively studied 35 cancer patients treated with paclitaxel or cisplatin-based regimens for lung or breast cancer. All patients underwent a detailed clinical and electrophysiological evaluation for screening of CIPN at baseline, at the third, the sixth course of chemotherapy and up to 3 months after its cessation. Means of a modified Peripheral Neuropathy (PNP) score summarized the results of the clinical and electrophysiological study.Patients were divided according to their age in two groups (mean age difference, p=0.000) to those younger than 65 years (group I, n=18) and those older or equal than 65 years (group II, n=17). According to the clinical, neurological and electrophysiological variables of each patient, the incidence and severity of CIPN was determined and then compared between groups. The incidence of neurotoxicity was similar (p=0.869) between group I (9/18 patients, 50%) and group II (8/17 patients, 52.9%). Likewise, according to the mean PNP scores, the severity of CIPN was similar between age groups (p=0.897). The between-age-groups comparison of electrophysiological data revealed no significant differences in any of the motor or sensory conduction parameters examined.Our study indicates that elderly cancer patients do not have greater risk of CIPN, whilst advanced age was not associated with worst severity of CIPN.

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