Use of an alpha lipoic, methylsulfonylmethane and bromelain dietary supplement (Opera®) for chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy management, a prospective study

Med Oncol. 2017 Mar;34(3):46. doi: 10.1007/s12032-017-0907-4. Epub 2017 Feb 15.


Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) is a major clinical problem associated with a number of cytotoxic agents. OPERA® (GAMFARMA srl, Milan, Italy) is a new dietary supplement where α-lipoic acid, Boswellia Serrata, methylsulfonylmethane and bromelain are combined in a single capsule. The aim of this prospective study was to determine the efficacy and safety of OPERA® supplementation in a series of patients affected by CIPN. We selected 25 subjects with CIPN evolving during or after chemotherapy with potentially neurotoxic agents. Patients were enrolled at the first clinical manifestation of neuropathy. CIPN was assessed at the enrollment visit and subsequently repeated every 3 weeks until 12 weeks. Primary endpoint was the evaluation of changes of measured scores after 12 weeks of therapy compared to baseline evaluation. Secondary endpoints were the evaluation of neuropathy reduction at 12 weeks after beginning of therapy with OPERA®. Analysis of VAS data showed reduction in pain perceived by patients. According to NCI-CTC sensor and motor score, mISS scale and TNSc scale, both pain and both sensor and motor neuropathic impairment decreased after 12 weeks of treatments. Treatment with OPERA supplement was well tolerated; no increase in the toxicity profile of any of the therapeutic regimen that the patients were undergoing was reported. OPERA® was able to improve CIPN symptoms in a prospective series of patients treated with neurotoxic chemotherapy, with no significant toxicity or interaction. Prospective RCT in a selected patients' population is warranted to confirm its promising activity.

Keywords: Dietary supplement; Management; Neuropathy; Neurotoxic chemotherapy.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use
  • Bromelains / administration & dosage*
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Dimethyl Sulfoxide / administration & dosage*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Neurotoxins / adverse effects
  • Neurotoxins / therapeutic use
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sulfones / administration & dosage*
  • Thioctic Acid / administration & dosage*


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Neurotoxins
  • Sulfones
  • Thioctic Acid
  • Bromelains
  • dimethyl sulfone
  • Dimethyl Sulfoxide