Cryotherapy for Preventing Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy in Patients With Breast Cancer

Excerpt:

“A self-controlled clinical trial by Hanai et al investigating the efficacy of cryotherapy for the prevention of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy in patients with breast cancer treated with paclitaxel has found that cryotherapy resulted in a clinically and statistically significant reduction in patient-reported subjective symptoms, diminished objective signs (tactile and thermosensory), and prevention of manipulative dexterity. These study findings suggest cryotherapy may be an effective strategy in the prevention of neuropathy in patients undergoing paclitaxel treatment. These study findings were published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Predictive Genetic Markers Associated with Breast Cancer Neuropathy Identified

“Researchers at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) have identified common inherited gene alterations that appear to make some patients more at risk of neurotoxicity when treated for breast cancer. The research was presented at the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2015, being held April 18-22 in Philadelphia.

“Taxane-related neuropathy, or nerve damage to the peripheral nervous system, cannot be predicted, prevented or effectively treated. A substantial number of breast cancer patients continue to experience severe neuropathy with symptoms lasting long after treatment.

“ ‘Identifying these predictive markers could give clinicians essential information about a patient’s likelihood of developing severe side effects before therapy even starts, thereby potentially increasing the quality of life for breast cancer survivors,’ says the study’s first author, Lara Sucheston-Campbell, PhD, Associate Professor of Oncology in the Division of Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences at Roswell Park.

“In an effort to find genomic markers that will provide clinicians with clues as to who might develop this often debilitating side effect, Sucheston-Campbell and colleagues analyzed the genomes of 1,269 European Americans and 139 African-Americans enrolled in a cooperative clinical trial (SWOG 221). Participants reported varying levels of neuropathy during and after treatment. Results showed significant associations between severe neuropathy in European American women and variants on chromosomes 7, 10, 16 and 17. The marker on chromosome 7 reduced the odds of neuropathy for both European Americans and African-Americans, and showed the same protective effect in another cooperative-group clinical trial of breast cancer patients treated with taxanes.”


Report Card on Complementary Therapies for Breast Cancer

“Over eighty percent of breast cancer patients in the United States use complementary therapies following a breast cancer diagnosis, but there has been little science-based guidance to inform clinicians and patients about their safety and effectiveness. In newly published guidelines from the Society for Integrative Oncology, researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center with colleagues at MD Anderson Cancer Center, University of Michigan, Memorial Sloan Kettering, and other institutions in the U.S. and Canada, analyzed which integrative treatments appear to be most effective and safe for patients. They evaluated more than 80 different therapies.

“Meditation, yoga, and relaxation with imagery were found to have the strongest evidence supporting their use. They received an “A” grade and are recommended for routine use for anxiety and other mood disorders common to breast cancer patients. The same practices received a “B” grade for reducing stress, depression, and fatigue, but are also endorsed for most breast cancer patients. Acupuncture received a “B” grade for controlling chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting and can be recommended to most patients. More than 30 interventions, including some natural products and acupuncture for other conditions, had weaker evidence of benefit due to either small study sizes or conflicting study results, and received a “C” grade. Seven other therapies were deemed unlikely to provide any benefit and are not recommended. One therapy was found to be harmful: acetyl-l-carnitine, which is marketed to prevent chemotherapy-related neuropathy, and actually increased risk for the condition.”


Postmastectomy Pain Effectively Treated With a Simple Injection

“For postmastectomy neuropathic pain, perineural infiltration with a combination of bupivacaine and dexamethasone is a ‘simple, effective, practice-changing treatment that any surgeon can do,’ according to Laura J. Esserman, MD, MBA, Professor of Surgery and Radiology at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine and Director of the Carol Franc Buck Breast Care Center, senior author of the study.

“The intervention—2-mL injections of an equal ratio of 0.5% bupivacaine and 4 mg/mL of dexamethasone—was described at the 2013 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. The study’s first author was Cathy J. Tang, MD, also a surgeon at the University of California, San Francisco.”

Editor’s note: Some patients experience chronic breast pain after undergoing a mastectomy. It may develop immediately after surgery, but may not develop until 6 months later. It can last for years. According to this article, a simple injection might solve the problem.


ASCO Releases First Three Guidelines on Cancer Survivorship Care

“The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) today issued three evidence-based clinical practice guidelines on the prevention and management of symptoms that affect many cancer survivors—neuropathy, fatigue and depression, and anxiety. The guidelines are the first three in a planned series of guidelines on survivorship care. The recommendations reinforce the need to care for the both physical and psychological needs of cancer survivors.”

“The release of these guidelines come at a time when the number of people with a history of cancer in the United States has increased dramatically, from 3 million in 1971 to about 13.7 million today. Despite these important gains, cancer survivors still face a range of long-term challenges from their disease and its treatment.  Cancer survivors face an increased risk for other health problems, premature mortality and side-effects from treatment.  The transition from active treatment to post-treatment care is critical to optimal long-term health. If care is not planned and coordinated, cancer survivors are left without knowledge of their heightened risks and a follow-up plan of action.

“In addition to the guidelines, Cancer.Net, ASCO’s patient information website, has updated information for survivors that is based on ASCO’s latest recommendations.”


ASCO Releases First Three Guidelines on Cancer Survivorship Care

“The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) today issued three evidence-based clinical practice guidelines on the prevention and management of symptoms that affect many cancer survivors—neuropathy, fatigue and depression, and anxiety. The guidelines are the first three in a planned series of guidelines on survivorship care. The recommendations reinforce the need to care for the both physical and psychological needs of cancer survivors.”

“The release of these guidelines come at a time when the number of people with a history of cancer in the United States has increased dramatically, from 3 million in 1971 to about 13.7 million today. Despite these important gains, cancer survivors still face a range of long-term challenges from their disease and its treatment.  Cancer survivors face an increased risk for other health problems, premature mortality and side-effects from treatment.  The transition from active treatment to post-treatment care is critical to optimal long-term health. If care is not planned and coordinated, cancer survivors are left without knowledge of their heightened risks and a follow-up plan of action.

“In addition to the guidelines, Cancer.Net, ASCO’s patient information website, has updated information for survivors that is based on ASCO’s latest recommendations.”


ASCO Releases First Three Guidelines on Cancer Survivorship Care

“The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) today issued three evidence-based clinical practice guidelines on the prevention and management of symptoms that affect many cancer survivors—neuropathy, fatigue and depression, and anxiety. The guidelines are the first three in a planned series of guidelines on survivorship care. The recommendations reinforce the need to care for the both physical and psychological needs of cancer survivors.”

“The release of these guidelines come at a time when the number of people with a history of cancer in the United States has increased dramatically, from 3 million in 1971 to about 13.7 million today. Despite these important gains, cancer survivors still face a range of long-term challenges from their disease and its treatment.  Cancer survivors face an increased risk for other health problems, premature mortality and side-effects from treatment.  The transition from active treatment to post-treatment care is critical to optimal long-term health. If care is not planned and coordinated, cancer survivors are left without knowledge of their heightened risks and a follow-up plan of action.

“In addition to the guidelines, Cancer.Net, ASCO’s patient information website, has updated information for survivors that is based on ASCO’s latest recommendations.”


Cancer Survivors Need Long-Term Care Plans

Most people who survive cancer are left to deal with the physical and emotional aftermath of treatment on their own—but they still need help. Long-term side effects of cancer treatments range from heart damage and painful nerve death to depression and body image disorders. However, a recent survey found that only 17% of people who survived cancer were given a long-term care plan. Cancer survivors can seek help at seven U.S. centers that focus on care after cancer, as well as the National Cancer Institute’s Office of Cancer Survivorship. The U.S. has nearly 14 million cancer survivors today, with 18 million expected by 2022.


Cancer Survivors Need Long-Term Care Plans

Most people who survive cancer are left to deal with the physical and emotional aftermath of treatment on their own—but they still need help. Long-term side effects of cancer treatments range from heart damage and painful nerve death to depression and body image disorders. However, a recent survey found that only 17% of people who survived cancer were given a long-term care plan. Cancer survivors can seek help at seven U.S. centers that focus on care after cancer, as well as the National Cancer Institute’s Office of Cancer Survivorship. The U.S. has nearly 14 million cancer survivors today, with 18 million expected by 2022.