Basic science and clinical management of painful and non-painful chemotherapy-related neuropathy

Gynecol Oncol. 2015 Mar;136(3):453-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2015.01.524. Epub 2015 Jan 10.


Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) is a dose-limiting toxicity of several chemotherapeutics used in the treatment of all the most common malignancies. There are several defined mechanisms of nerve damage that take place along different areas of the peripheral and the central nervous system. Treatment is based on symptom management and there are several classes of medications found to be efficacious in the treatment of neuropathic pain. Neuropathic pain that persists despite appropriate pharmacotherapy may respond to interventional procedures that span a range of invasiveness. The purpose of this review article is to examine the basic science of neuropathy and currently available treatment options in the context of chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy.

Keywords: Anticonvulsants; Antidepressants; Chemotherapy toxicity; Opioids; Pain; Peripheral neuropathy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Analgesics, Opioid / therapeutic use
  • Anesthetics, Local / therapeutic use
  • Anticonvulsants / therapeutic use
  • Antidepressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / complications
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Neuralgia / chemically induced
  • Neuralgia / diagnosis
  • Neuralgia / physiopathology
  • Neuralgia / therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Pain / chemically induced
  • Pain / diagnosis
  • Pain / physiopathology
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / diagnosis
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / physiopathology
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / therapy*
  • Physical Therapy Modalities
  • Transcutaneous Electric Nerve Stimulation


  • Analgesics, Opioid
  • Anesthetics, Local
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Antidepressive Agents
  • Antineoplastic Agents

Supplementary concepts

  • Neuropathy, Painful