Table of Contents
Chemotherapy Research and Practice
Volume 2011, Article ID 843019, 5 pages
Review Article

Neurotoxicity Caused by the Treatment with Platinum Analogues

Oncology Unit, Department of Pathophysiology, Laikon General Hospital, Athens University School of Medicine, 11527 Athens, Greece

Received 10 September 2010; Revised 29 March 2011; Accepted 4 May 2011

Academic Editor: Athanassios Tsakris

Copyright © 2011 Sousana Amptoulach and Nicolas Tsavaris. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Platinum agents (cisplatin, carboplatin, and oxaliplatin) are a class of chemotherapy agents that have a broad spectrum of activity against several solid tumors. Toxicity to the peripheral nervous system is the major dose-limiting toxicity of at least some of the platinum drugs of clinical interest. Among the platinum compounds in clinical use, cisplatin is the most neurotoxic, inducing mainly sensory neuropathy of the upper and lower extremities. Carboplatin is generally considered to be less neurotoxic than cisplatin, but it is associated with a higher risk of neurological dysfunction if administered at high dose or in combination with agents considered to be neurotoxic. Oxaliplatin induces two types of peripheral neuropathy, acute and chronic. The incidence of oxaliplatin-induced neuropathy is related to various risk factors such as treatment schedule, cumulative dose, and time of infusion. To date, several neuroprotective agents including thiol compounds, vitamin E, various anticonvulsants, calcium-magnesium infusions, and other nonpharmacological strategies have been tested for their ability to prevent platinum-induced neurotoxicity with controversial results. Further studies on the prevention and treatment of neurotoxicity of platinum analogues are warranted.