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Journal of Oncology
Volume 2011, Article ID 201593, 7 pages
Review Article

Oxaliplatin-Induced Neuropathy in Colorectal Cancer

Division of Medical Oncology, University of Colorado Cancer Center, Aurora, CO 80045, USA

Received 2 September 2011; Accepted 24 October 2011

Academic Editor: Andrea Bonetti

Copyright © 2011 Andrew Weickhardt et al. 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.


Oxaliplatin use in palliative and adjuvant treatment of colon cancer is frequently limited by cumulative neurotoxicity, leading to reduced quality of life and decreased dose. The mechanism of this neurotoxicity is unclear, but may relate to neuronal voltage-gated sodium channels involving calcium chelation by a metabolite of the drug. Various preventative measures have been tested to reduce the incidence of neurotoxicity, including calcium and magnesium infusions, dose interruption of the drug, and prophylactic neuromodulatory agents. Despite the promising efficacy of these measures, they are not universally accepted. Less is known about the best way to treat established neurotoxicity, which is permanent in some patients, although venlafaxine has shown promise in small clinical trials. This paper analyzes the extent, cause and risk factors for neuropathy, and the potential preventative and therapeutic treatments for oxaliplatin-induced neuropathy.