Chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain

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Purpose of reviewTo discuss the importance, clinical features, possible pathology and treatments of chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain. Newer biological agents such as bortezomib will be considered in greater detail.Recent findingsChemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) is a frequent complication of common anticancer therapies. It may lead to treatment compromise, significantly adds to the symptom burden and interferes with quality of life of cancer survivors. Recent investigations have identified processes involved in CIPN which may give some insight for the development of novel treatments. CIPN induced by different anticancer therapies may be heterogeneous and present as distinct neuropathic pains. Recent work has focussed on the newer anticancer drugs such as bortezomib. Contemporaneous studies have failed to find good evidence for the use of several common antineuropathic agents and further research is required.SummaryPainful CIPN remains under recognized and undertreated. It is an important cause of pain during cancer treatment and is a common pain in the cancer survivor. Difficulties in assessment and limitations in treatment contribute to management problems. Improvements in education (patient and clinician), assessment and treatment would potentially reduce the often debilitating effects of painful CIPN.

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