Charles Loprinzi on Potential Treatments for Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy

November 25, 2015
Charles Loprinzi, MD

Charles Loprinzi, MD, Giant of Cancer Care: Supportive/Palliative Care, Mayo Clinic, discusses potential treatments for chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN).

Charles Loprinzi, MD, Giant of Cancer Care: Supportive/Palliative Care, Mayo Clinic, discusses potential treatments for chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN).

Duloxetine has demonstrated benefits in managing CIPN in clinical trials, but Loprinzi adds that the benefits are not great and the drug is associated with some toxicities. 

Loprinzi says minocycline, which is commonly used to treat acne, has promising preclinical data in preventing neuropathy. Pilot studies for the drug are ongoing. 

Another method being tested for the treatment of CIPN is Scrambler therapy, in which electrodes are placed on the skin in areas around sites of pain. Electrical signals send non-pain messages to areas that are interpreting chronic pain, such as that caused by neuropathy. This therapy has not been proven effective in treating CIPN, but Loprinzi says that he is convinced it can help a number of patients in this population.