Incidence and risk of peripheral neuropathy with nab-paclitaxel in patients with cancer: a meta-analysis

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Nab-paclitaxel, a Cremophor EL-free formulation of paclitaxel, is used to treat various malignancies. Peripheral neuropathy is one of its major toxicities, although the overall incidence remains unclear. We performed a meta-analysis to calculate the incidence of peripheral neuropathy in cancer patients treated with nab-paclitaxel and to compare the relative risk (RR) with conventional taxanes. The electronic databases were searched for relevant clinical trials. Eligible studies included phase II and III prospective clinical trials of cancer patients treated with nab-paclitaxel with toxicity profile on peripheral neuropathy. Statistical analyses were done to calculate summary incidences, RRs and 95% confidence intervals (CI), using fixed-effects or random-effects models based on the heterogeneity of the included studies. Nineteen trials were selected for the meta-analysis, yielding a total of 2878 cancer patients. The overall incidences of peripheral neuropathy (all-grade) was 51.0% (95% CI: 45.1-57.6%), and that of high-grade peripheral neuropathy was 12.4% (9.8-15.7%). The RRs of peripheral neuropathy of nab-paclitaxel compared to taxanes were not increased for all-grade and high-grade peripheral neuropathy. Nab-paclitaxel is associated with an increased risk of developing peripheral neuropathy. Future clinical studies are still needed to investigate the risk reduction and possible use of nab-paclitaxel.

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