Experts Issue Practice-Changing Advice: Stop giving calcium/magnesium for oxaliplatin-caused neuropathy

For patients getting the common FOLFOX chemotherapy for colorectal cancer, many oncologists add intravenous calcium and magnesium, hoping to decrease the neuropathy (nerve damage) associated with oxaliplatin-based drugs. But this week, experts at the 2013 ASCO meeting (American Society of Clinical Oncology), announced strong evidence that the calcium/magnesium does no good in either preventing or decreasing…  Read More

Two Advances in Understanding, Treating Painful Chemo Neuropathy

Recent studies show some promise in understanding chemo-caused neuropathy, and perhaps in using a common medicine to ease the worst symptoms in some people. Study shows neuropathy relief for some using antidepressant  A well-designed clinical study has provided the first evidence that the antidepressant Cymbalta® (duloxetine) can provide some patients with significant relief from peripheral neuropathy…  Read More

Depression Drug May Ease Peripheral Neuropathy Pain

The antidepressant drug Duloxetine (Cymbalta®) was shown in a recent study to provide pain relief to people suffering from peripheral neuropathy caused by chemotherapy. Chemotherapy drugs such as oxaliplatin (Eloxatin®, used in the FOLFOX regimen for colorectal cancer) can damage “peripheral” nerve cells (those beyond the brain and spinal cord), causing pain, tingling, numbness especially in…  Read More

Cold Weather's Coming. . . and Oxaliplatin Difficulties

There was frost on the grass this morning when I let the little dog out.  A hard freeze is predicted for the next few nights, a sign that winter and its ice and snow isn’t far off. Cold is a special problem for people who are getting Eloxatin® (oxaliplatin) for colon and rectal cancer.  Almost all…  Read More

Highlights from ASCO 2011

While there weren’t new blockbuster announcements for colorectal cancer this year at the American Society for Clinical Oncology’s (ASCO) Annual Meeting, there was plenty of focus on making what we already have work better and on choosing the patients who will benefit the most from treatments, as well as those who might not be helped at…  Read More

Effexor Reduces Pain from Cold

Colorectal cancer patients getting oxaliplatin quickly learn to avoid cold. Drinks with ice, chilly air, even opening the freezer can produce sudden, sharp pain, burning, or an unpleasant pins and needle feeling in their throat and hands. A small study has found that venlafaxine (Effexor) can completely eliminate acute neurotoxicity from oxaliplatin in about 1 out…  Read More