Tag Archives: oxaliplatin

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 neuropathy—and it should no longer be part of routine treatment. Neuropathy affects cancer treatment Oxaliplatin-based chemotherapy (e.g. FOLFOX, with Eloxatin®) is one of the most commonly used drugs for people having high-risk stage II, or stages III or IV colorectal cancer. But far too often after patients have had many doses of FOLFOX over

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 caused by chemotherapy. From 20 to 40 percent of cancer patients given neurotoxic chemotherapy–taxanes, platinum-based including Eloxatin® (oxaliplatin), vinca alkaloids, bortezomib–will develop painful peripheral neuropathy (numbness, tingling, burning in hands or feet). If the pain is severe, colorectal cancer patients often have to reduce the dose or stop taking Eloxatin. Even then, this painful condition

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 feet and/or hands. This side effect, called chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN), can worsen over time and last long after the chemotherapy has stopped. (More information on CIPN can be found here.)

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 patients on FOLFOX will experience acute neuropathy within a few hours of each oxaliplatin infusion.  This is acute, short-term, and ends within few days. About a third will go on to a chronic peripheral neuropathy that begins as oxaliplatin doses accumulate.  Most patients will experience some tingling and numbness in their hands and feet. 

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 all. (Note, many of these issues will be discussed in detail on our upcoming patient webinar.) Highlights: While adding oxaliplatin to 5-FU improves five year survival slightly for stage II colon cancer, it increases side effects, particularly tingling and numbness in the feet.  An analysis of several NSABP trials found that two or three

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 of 3 people.  More than half of patients who took it had more than 50 percent relief from symptoms.

Older patients benefit from XELOX after surgery

Update from 2010 GI Cancers Symposium Colon cancer patients over 70 actually had a greater reduction in disease-free survival than did younger ones with a new regimen of Xeloda® and oxaliplatin compared to older IV 5-FU treatments according to a new analysis reported at the GI Cancers Symposium in Orlando. With the bolus IV 5-FU and leucovorin regimens, stage III colon cancer patients over 70 had about a 60 percent chance of being alive and free from cancer three years after surgery. With a combination of Xeloda (capecitabine) and oxaliplatin in a treatment called XELOX, their three-year disease-free survival was 66 percent. Younger patients had about a 3 percent absolute

Colorectal Cancer News in Brief: November 7

Briefly Patients with diabetes aren’t any more likely to develop neuropathy in hands and feet when treated with oxaliplatin. Learn more about  current colorectal cancer prevention and treatment at a Memorial Sloan Kettering CancerSmart workshop on November 12.  NIH has a downloaded booklet on palliative care, and Oncology on Canvas is looking for artwork from cancer patients and their families and caregivers.

XELOX Beats 5-FU with Fewer Recurrences

A combination of Xeloda and Eloxatin (XELOX) was better than standard 5-FU and leucovorin chemotherapy in reducing recurrences of stage III colon cancer after surgery.  Significantly more patients receiving XELOX were alive without cancer three years after treatment began. Roche announced results of a Phase III clinical trial that compared XELOX chemotherapy to bolus 5-FU and leucovorin.  The trial, nicknamed XELOXA (NO16968), enrolled almost 1,900 patients in 29 countries. Its primary goal was to see if combining the oral drug Xeloda® (capecitabine) with Eloxatin® (oxaliplatin) could improve disease-free survival for stage III colon cancer patients.

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