This randomized phase II study was conducted to investigate the efficacy of cryotherapy in preventing peripheral neuropathy and dermatological adverse events in breast cancer patients treated with weekly paclitaxel.
Patients treated with 12 weekly doses of paclitaxel for breast cancer were randomized (1:1) into a cryotherapy or control group. The primary endpoint was the percentage of patients with a marked decrease in the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Neurotoxicity (FACT-NTX) score. The secondary endpoints were Patient Neurotoxicity Questionnaire (PNQ), Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Event (CTCAE) for peripheral neuropathy, and FACT-Taxane score.
Forty-four patients were randomly assigned to the cryotherapy (n = 22) or control groups (n = 22). The percentage of patients with a marked decrease in FACT-NTX scores was significantly lower in the cryotherapy group than in the control group (41 vs. 73%, p = 0.03). The incidence of CTCAE grade ≥ 2 sensory (p = 0.001) and motor peripheral neuropathy (p = 0.01), and PNQ grade D or higher for sensory peripheral neuropathy (p = 0.02), and decrease in the FACT-Taxane score (p = 0.02) were also significantly lower in the cryotherapy group than in the control group. There were no serious side effects associated with cryotherapy.
Cryotherapy is an effective approach for prevention of peripheral neuropathy and dermatological adverse events in breast cancer patients treated with weekly paclitaxel.