Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy and rehabilitation: A review

Shangming Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) is a common complication after chemotherapy that can damage the sensory, motor, autonomic, or cranial nerves in approximately 30%–60% of patients with cancer. CIPN can lead to detrimental dose modifications and/or premature chemotherapy discontinuation due to patient intolerance. The long-term impact of CIPN is particularly challenging and can have a profound impact on the quality of life (QoL) and survivorship. However, this condition is often underdiagnosed. No agents have been established to prevent CIPN. Pre-chemotherapy testing is recommended for high-risk patients. Duloxetine is considered a first-line treatment, whereas gabapentin, pregabalin, tricyclic antidepressants, and topical compounding creams may be used for neuropathic pain control. Home-based, low-to-moderate walking, and resistance exercise during chemotherapy can reduce the severity and prevalence of CIPN symptoms, especially in older patients. Pre-habilitation and rehabilitation should be recommended for all patients receiving cytotoxic chemotherapies. The purpose of this article is to review common chemotherapeutic drugs causing CIPN, risk factors, diagnosis and treatment of CIPN, and evidence of the benefits of rehabilitation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)193-207
Number of pages15
JournalSeminars in oncology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Hematology
  • Oncology


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