NCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research NewsNCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research News
February 19, 2008 • Volume 5 / Number 4 E-Mail This Document  |  Download PDF  |  Bulletin Archive/Search  |  Subscribe

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Featured Clinical TrialFeatured Clinical Trial

Preventing Chemotherapy-Induced Neuropathy

Name of the Trial
Phase III Randomized Study of Alpha-Lipoic Acid in Preventing Platinum-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy in Cancer Patients Receiving a Cisplatin- or Oxaliplatin-Containing Chemotherapy Regimen (MDA-CCC-0327). See the protocol summary at

Dr. Ying Guo Principal Investigator
Dr. Ying Guo, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center

Why This Trial Is Important
Peripheral neuropathy is a condition characterized by sensations of pain, tingling, burning, numbness, or weakness that usually begin in the hands or the feet. It can be caused by certain illnesses, for example, diabetes. It can also be a side effect of treatment with platinum-based chemotherapy drugs.

The peripheral neuropathy associated with platinum-based chemotherapy can be either acute or chronic. Acute peripheral neuropathy may begin during or shortly after administration of a platinum-containing drug and usually goes away on its own after several days. Chronic peripheral neuropathy may arise weeks or months after chemotherapy treatment and may be difficult to treat; in some patients, it may be irreversible.

In this trial, researchers are testing the ability of alpha-lipoic acid to prevent peripheral neuropathy caused by the platinum-containing drugs cisplatin and oxaliplatin. Alpha-lipoic acid is an antioxidant produced naturally by the body; it can also be found in some foods and as a nutritional supplement. In patients with diabetes, it has been shown to relieve symptoms of neuropathy.

"Peripheral neuropathy is a potentially disabling condition that affects many cancer patients treated with platinum-based chemotherapy," said Dr. Guo. "We hope that alpha-lipoic acid will help prevent this condition in patients undergoing chemotherapy with cisplatin or oxaliplatin."

Patients in this trial will be randomly assigned to receive oral alpha-lipoic acid or a placebo three times a day for at least 24 weeks.

For More Information
See the lists of entry criteria and trial contact information at or call NCI's Cancer Information Service at 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237) for more information. The toll-free call is confidential.

An archive of "Featured Clinical Trial" columns is available at