Platinum-based anticancer drugs are a cornerstone of the current antineoplastic treatment. However, their use is limited by the onset of peripheral nervous system dysfunction, which can be severe and persistent over a long period of time.
Among the several hypotheses proposed to explain this side effect, evidence is increasing that dorsal root ganglia (DRG) oxidative stress can be an important pathogenetic mechanism and, possibly, a therapeutic target to limit the severity of platinum-induced peripheral neurotoxicity but preserving the anticancer effectiveness.
In fact, DRG energy failure has been suggested as a result of mitochondrial DNA-platinum binding and several antioxidant drugs have been tested in pre-clinical experiments and clinical trials.
In this review, an update on the current knowledge on the relationship existing between oxidative stress and platinum drugs peripheral neurotoxicity will be given.