Background: Oxaliplatin-induced peripheral neuropathy (OIPN) of acute and chronic type is well known, but long-term chronic type OIPN and its impact on quality of life (QoL) has not been extensively studied. Clinical experience indicates that oxaliplatin tolerance might vary with climate.
Material and methods: Patient-reported chronic type OIPN and QoL among patients treated with oxaliplatin added to a fluoropyrimidine (Folfox or Capox) in the adjuvant setting of colorectal cancer (CRC) were assessed in a single center cross-sectional study by using the EORTC QLQ-CIPN20 and QLQ-C30 questionnaires. Comparison was made to patients treated with a fluoropyrimidine (5-FU or capecitabine) alone during the same time period.
Results: Of 161 patients being disease-free 1-8 years after stop of treatment and invited, 84% participated; 65 treated with oxaliplatin and 71 with a fluoropyrimidine alone. Mean cumulative oxaliplatin dose was 567mg/m(2) (55% of planned dose). Oxaliplatin-treated patients reported statistically and clinically significant worse sensory as well as motor scale scores, dominated by symptoms from the feet. Severe tingling and numbness in toes/feet was reported by 38% and 37%, respectively, by oxaliplatin-treated patients compared with 8% for both by fluoropyrimidine alone patients (p<0.001). Subgroup analyses indicated no impact of gender, age, regimen, time since stop of treatment or cumulated oxaliplatin dose for severity of the chronic type OIPN. The oxaliplatin compared with the fluoropyrimidine group reported worse QoL scores throughout all domains, with statistically and clinically significant differences for role and social function, nausea/loss of appetite and financial problems.
Conclusions: Oxaliplatin added to a fluoropyrimidine for adjuvant treatment of CRC in a country with subarctic climate is associated with long-term, seemingly chronic, sensory neuropathy and impairment of QoL. This should be taken into account in clinical decision making on oxaliplatin treatment in the adjuvant setting.
2016. Vol. 55, no 9-10, 1227-1235 p.