Chemotherapy Induced Peripheral Neuropathy (CIPN)

  • End date
    Sep 27, 2023
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    Loma Linda University
Updated on 4 October 2022
breast cancer
peripheral neuropathy


Chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) is a common side effect of many forms of chemotherapy having a negative impact on the quality of life for cancer survivors due to numbness, decreased sensation, pain (of various intensities in the extremities), gait/balance problems, and difficulty with fine motor skills of the hands and fingers.To date, there are no preventive modalities to mitigate CIPN development.When CIPN becomes intolerable, optimal doses of chemotherapy have to be reduced or discontinued, which may affect a patient's overall survival. Intraneural facilitation (INF) is a technique developed by physical therapists at Loma Linda University after careful study of the structure, pathophysiology and biomechanics of peripheral nerves. The focus of INF is restoration of circulation to an ischemic nerve. INF has been offered to subjects receiving treatment at LLUCC with anecdotal success. The purpose of this study is to evaluate INF as a treatment modality under the rigor of scientific inquiry to determine its effectiveness as a viable treatment option for breast cancer patients with CIPN.


STUDY OUTLINE: This is a single institution study. Patients with newly diagnosed breast cancer stages I to III with any biomarker status (ER, PR and HER), without preexisting peripheral neuropathy planning to receive treatment with platinum-based compounds (Carboplatin and Cisplatin) and/or taxanes (Docetaxel and Paclitaxel) and chemotherapy naive patients with gynecologic cancers including ovarian, uterine, and cervical cancer planning to receive definitive number of platinum-based compounds (carboplatin or cisplatin) and/or taxanes (docetaxel and paclitaxel) chemotherapy are potential study patients.

Subjects will be randomized into one of two treatment arms within 3 weeks of starting the offending chemotherapy agents after fulfilling the other study eligibility requirements. Arm 1 (investigational) will receive INF twice a week for six weeks by the same treating physical therapist (physical therapist #1). Arm 2 (control) will receive a standardized program of muscle stretching and strengthening exercises twice a week for 6 weeks under the supervision of treating physical therapist #1. Actual treatment time for both modalities is approximately 45 minutes. Measurements used to detect the presence and degree of peripheral neuropathy will be administered by the same assessment physical therapist (physical therapist #2) at baseline and at the end of weeks 3, 6, and 3 months post last physical therapy treatment. Assessment tools are: ultrasound imaging on the popliteal and posterior tibia artery, the 20-item Pain Quality Assessment Scale (PQAS, specifically addresses neuropathological symptomatology), the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Distress thermometer (DT), and the Michigan Neuropathy Screening Instrument (MNSI) will be assessed and recorded along with treatment adherence. Treating physician will be recording National Cancer Institute Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (CTCAE) neuropathy score and performance status at routine intervals during and after chemotherapy.


Primary objective

• To compare the degree of neuropathy and distress between Arm 1 receiving INF therapy compared to Arm 2 receiving usual care of muscle stretching and strengthening exercises based on standardized measurements (PQAS, MNSI, NCCN DT, and AE assessment).

Secondary objectives

  • To compare the Ultrasound measurements of peak systolic velocity, volume flow and pulsatility of popliteal and posterior tibia artery between the two treatment arms for assessing differences in vascular perfusion.
  • To compare the rate of any dose reductions and premature chemotherapy discontinuation rates due to peripheral neuropathy between Arm 1 receiving INF therapy compared to Arm 2 receiving standardized program of muscle stretching and strengthening exercises.
  • To compare subject acceptability, burden and satisfaction with the assigned physical therapy modality between the two arms based on patient satisfaction questionnaire administered at the end of treatment.

Condition Chemotherapy-induced Peripheral Neuropathy
Treatment Arm 1: Investigational INF, Arm 2: standardized muscle stretching and strength
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT03272919
SponsorLoma Linda University
Last Modified on4 October 2022


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

Newly diagnosed stages I to III breast cancer patients with any biomarker status (ER, PR and HER) receiving treatment with platinum-based compounds (Carboplatin and Cisplatin) and/or taxanes (Docetaxel and Paclitaxel)
Chemotherapy naive patients with gynecologic cancers including ovarian, uterine, and cervical cancer planning to receive definitive number of platinum-based compounds (carboplatin or cisplatin) and/or taxanes (docetaxel and paclitaxel) chemotherapy
Planned to receive a minimum of 4 cycles of treatment with either of the offending chemotherapy agents (a cycle of weekly paclitaxel is considered 3 doses)
Women aged ≥ 18 years at signing of informed consent
No pre-existing peripheral neuropathy (WPPN)
ECOG status 0 or 1
Able to provide written, informed consent to participate in the study and follow the study procedures
Cannot participate in another non-medical intervention/therapy for peripheral neuropathy
Cannot receive more than 3 weeks of treatment with implicating chemotherapy prior to start of study assigned therapy

Exclusion Criteria

Preexisting peripheral neuropathy
Previous exposure to any of the implicated chemotherapy agents within the last 5 years (platinum-based compounds, vinca alkaloids and/or taxanes) that could potentially cause peripheral neuropathy
Evidence of significant medical illness, or psychiatric illness/social situation that would, in the investigator's judgment, make the patient inappropriate for this study
Stage IV or metastatic breast cancer
Any physical or neurological disability that would preclude patients from participating in physical therapy
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