Clinical and preclinical perspectives on Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy (CIPN): A narrative review

S. J. L. Flatters, P. M. Dougherty, L. A. Colvin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

200 Citations (Scopus)
329 Downloads (Pure)


This review provides an update on the current clinical and preclinical understanding of chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN). The overview of the clinical syndrome includes a review of its assessment, diagnosis and treatment. CIPN is caused by several widely-used chemotherapeutics including paclitaxel, oxaliplatin, bortezomib. Severe CIPN may require dose reduction, or cessation, of chemotherapy, impacting on patient survival. While CIPN often resolves after chemotherapy, around 30% of patients will have persistent problems, impacting on function and quality of life. Early assessment and diagnosis is important, and we discuss tools developed for this purpose. There are no effective strategies to prevent CIPN, with limited evidence of effective drugs for treating established CIPN. Duloxetine has moderate evidence, with extrapolation from other neuropathic pain states generally being used to direct treatment options for CIPN. The preclinical perspective includes a discussion on the development of clinically-relevant rodent models of CIPN and some of the potentially modifiable mechanisms that have been identified using these models. We focus on the role of mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative stress, immune cells and changes in ion channels from summary of the latest literature in these areas. Many causal mechanisms of CIPN occur simultaneously and/or can reinforce each other. Thus, combination therapies may well be required for most effective management. More effective treatment of CIPN will require closer links between oncology and pain management clinical teams to ensure CIPN patients are effectively monitored. Furthermore, continued close collaboration between clinical and preclinical research will facilitate the development of novel treatments for CIPN.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)737-749
Number of pages13
JournalBritish Journal of Anaesthesia
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017


  • cancer pain
  • neuralgia
  • paclitaxel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Clinical and preclinical perspectives on Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy (CIPN): A narrative review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this