Background: Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) is a progressive,
enduring, and often irreversible adverse effect of many antineoplastic agents, among which sensory
abnormities are common and the most suffering issues. The pathogenesis of CIPN has not been
completely understood, and strategies for CIPN prevention and treatment are still open problems for
Objectives: The objective of this paper is to review the mechanism-based therapies against sensory
abnormities in CIPN.
Methods: This is a literature review to describe the uncovered mechanisms underlying CIPN and to
provide a summary of mechanism-based therapies for CIPN based on the evidence from both animal
and clinical studies.
Results: An abundance of compounds has been developed to prevent or treat CIPN by blocking ion
channels, targeting inflammatory cytokines and combating oxidative stress. Agents such as glutathione,
mangafodipir and duloxetine are expected to be effective for CIPN intervention, while
Ca/Mg infusion and venlafaxine, tricyclic antidepressants, and gabapentin display limited efficacy
for preventing and alleviating CIPN. And the utilization of erythropoietin, menthol and amifostine
needs to be cautious regarding to their side effects.
Conclusions: Multiple drugs have been used and studied for decades, their effect against CIPN are
still controversial according to different antineoplastic agents due to the diverse manifestations
among different antineoplastic agents and complex drug-drug interactions. In addition, novel therapies
or drugs that have proven to be effective in animals require further investigation, and it will
take time to confirm their efficacy and safety.