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Nursing Research and Practice
Volume 2010, Article ID 281531, 9 pages
Research Article

Increased Interleukin-6 Activity Associated with Painful Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy in Women after Breast Cancer Treatment

School of Nursing, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA 23298-0567, USA

Received 26 December 2009; Revised 18 May 2010; Accepted 7 July 2010

Academic Editor: Patsy Yates

Copyright © 2010 Angela Starkweather. 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.


Accumulating evidence suggests that neural-immune interactions are involved in the development of painful chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy, particularly through the increased release of proinflammatory cytokines. The purpose of this study was used to evaluate levels of interleukin [IL]-6 and IL-6 receptors in women with breast cancer after the conclusion of chemotherapy who either had painful symptoms of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN group, ) or did not experience CIPN symptoms (Comparison group, ). CIPN participants had significantly higher levels of IL-6 and soluble IL-6R (sIL-6R) compared to women without CIPN symptoms ( for both). In addition, soluble gp130, which blocks the IL-6/sIL-6R complex from binding to gp130 within the cellular membrane, was significantly lower . Circulating concentrations of sIL-6R were inversely correlated with the density of IL-6R on the cell surface of monocytes in the total sample . These findings suggest that IL-6 transsignaling may be an important biological mechanism associated with the persistence of painful CIPN symptoms, with potential implications for symptom management and research.