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Eva Battaglini, David Goldstein, Peter Grimison, Susan McCullough, Phil Mendoza-Jones, and Susanna B. Park

Background: Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neurotoxicity (CIPN) is a major adverse effect of cancer treatment. However, its impact remains poorly understood. This study aimed to investigate the impact associated with CIPN on the lives of cancer survivors. Patients and Methods: A volunteer sample of 986 individuals who had received neurotoxic chemotherapy completed an anonymous, cross-sectional survey. Outcomes assessed included CIPN symptoms, pain, neuropathic pain, quality of life (QoL), physical activity, and comorbid health conditions via the Self-Administered Comorbidity Questionnaire. Results: Respondents had a mean age of 58 years (SD, 10.7), and 83.2% were female. Most were treated for breast (58.9%) or colorectal cancer (13.5%); had received docetaxel (32.7%), paclitaxel (31.6%), or oxaliplatin (12.5%); and had completed treatment 3.6 ± 3.5 years previously. We found that 76.5% of respondents reported current CIPN. Respondents reporting severe CIPN had poorer QoL, more comorbidities, and higher body mass index, and more often received multiple neurotoxic chemotherapies than those with mild CIPN. Respondents who completed the survey ≤1 year after completing chemotherapy did not differ in reported CIPN or pain compared with respondents who completed chemotherapy ≥6 years earlier. However, respondents who completed chemotherapy ≥6 years earlier reported better QoL. Multivariable linear regression analyses revealed predictors of CIPN severity as follows: F(7, 874) = 64.67; P<.001; R2 = 0.34, including pain (β = −0.36; P<.001), burning pain (β = 0.25; P<.001), sex (male sex associated with greater CIPN: β = 0.14; P<.001), years since completing chemotherapy (shorter time associated with greater CIPN; β = −0.10; P<.001), age (β = 0.80; P=.006), number of comorbid conditions (β = 0.07; P=.02), and body mass index (β = 0.07; P=.02). Conclusions: Respondents with a high CIPN symptom burden experienced poorer general health and QoL. Improvements in CIPN may be more likely soon after treatment. However, improvements in QoL may occur over time in those with chronic symptoms. CIPN seems to have lasting impacts on cancer survivors, and understanding risk factors is important to enable the design of further preventive and therapeutic management strategies.

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J. Matt McCrary, David Goldstein, Terry Trinh, Hannah C. Timmins, Tiffany Li, Jasmine Menant, Michael Friedlander, Craig R. Lewis, Mark Hertzberg, Siobhan O’Neill, Tracy King, Annmarie Bosco, Michelle Harrison, and Susanna B. Park

Background: Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) persists after treatment in up to 40% of cancer survivors and has been linked with increased balance deficits, disabilities, and fall occurrences. This study aimed to comprehensively assess the links between CIPN, balance deficits, and functional disability and to inform the development of clinical screening tools for patients at risk of these events. Patients and Methods: A total of 190 cancer survivors exposed to neurotoxic chemotherapies (age, 57 ± 13 years; average time from completion of neurotoxic therapy, 12 ± 11 months) attended a neurology research clinic for a single cross-sectional assessment of patient-reported and objective CIPN, standing balance in 4 conditions of increasing difficulty, and functional disability. Results: Most patients (68%) reported CIPN symptoms at assessment. Symptomatic patients displayed increased functional disability (F=39.4; P<.001) and balance deficits (F=34.5; P<.001), with degree of balance impairments consistent with a healthy elderly population (age ≥65 years) reporting multiple falls over the subsequent year. Increasing CIPN severity correlated with increasing functional disability (clinically assessed R2=0.46; patient-reported R2=0.49; P<.001) and balance deficits (clinically assessed R2=0.41; patient-reported R2=0.30; P<.001). A 5-factor model of key independent correlates—patient-reported numbness/tingling, weakness, and balance deficit; age; and vibration perception—was strongly linked to balance deficits (R2=0.46; P<.001) and functional disability (R2=0.56; P<.001). Conclusions: This study confirms links between increasing CIPN severity and increasing balance deficits and functional disability using comprehensive CIPN assessment methodology. The extent of balance deficits in patients with CIPN underscores the functional consequences of neurotoxicity. A 5-factor model provides a foundation for clinical screening tools to assess balance deficits and functional disability in patients exposed to neurotoxic chemotherapies.