Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) occurs fairly frequently in patients. It is most often associated with treatment with paclitaxel.
CIPN can be long-lasting and debilitating for a patient and, therefore, disrupt quality of life. It can also potentially lead to dose reduction and, in some cases, discontinuation of the agent causing the CIPN.
However, a new study published in Journal of the National Cancer Institute shows multivitamin use may be associated with reduced risk of CIPN.
A team of researchers from across the United States identified a cohort of women with breast cancer receiving paclitaxel as part of a clinical trial (SWOG 0221). They examined their use of dietary supplements before diagnosis and during treatment.
Supplement use was evaluated in relation to CIPN, which was assessed by completing the National Cancer Institute Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events and the self-reported Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy/Gynecologic Oncology Group Neurotoxicity subscale.
The study examined 1,225 women, who were asked to complete questionnaires at the time of their breast cancer diagnosis. A second questionnaire, given 6 months later, assessed supplement use in relation to CIPN during paclitaxel treatment.
Researchers determined that multivitamin use before diagnosis was associated with reduced symptoms of CIPN. Use during treatment was marginally inversely associated with CIPN. Other supplement use, either before diagnosis or during treatment, was not significantly associated with CIPN.
Multivitamin use may be associated with reduced risk of CIPN, although individual dietary supplement use did not appreciably affect risk, according to the study authors.
They also note that use of multivitamins could reflect other behaviors that were not examined, such as good nutrition, which may cause or contribute to a reduction in CIPN.
The researchers recommend prospective randomized trials of vitamin supplementation, and note that recommendations for supplement use or changes in clinical practice are not warranted based on the results of their study.