Aim: A randomized, open label with blind assessment, controlled trial was performed to assess efficacy and adverse-event profile of vitamin E, given as supplementation for prophylaxis against cisplatin-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN).
Patients and methods: A total of 30 patients scheduled to receive six courses of cumulative cisplatin-based regimens were randomly allocated to treatment and control groups and were then studied by means of neurological examination and electrophysiological study. Patients assigned to group I (n=14) orally received vitamin E at a daily dose of 600 mg/day during chemotherapy and 3 months after its cessation were compared to patients of group II (n=16), who received no vitamin E supplementation and served as controls. The severity of neurotoxicity was summarized by means of a modified Peripheral Neuropathy (PNP) score.
Results: The incidence of neurotoxicity differed significantly between groups, occurring in 3/14 (21.4%) of patients assigned to the vitamin E supplementation group and in 11/16 (68.5%) of controls (p=0.026). The relative risk (RR) of developing neurotoxicity was significantly higher in case of controls, RR=2.51, 95% C.I.=1.16-5.47. Mean PNP scores were 4.99+/-1.33 for patients of group I and 10.47+/-10.62 for controls, (p=0.023). None of the adverse events or deaths occurred, were judged as likely to be related to the vitamin E supplementation.
Conclusion: Vitamin E effectively and safely protects patients with cancer from occurrence of cisplatin neurotoxicity.