Vitamin e neuroprotection for cisplatin neuropathy: A randomized, placebo-controlled trial

A. Pace, D. Giannarelli, E. Galiè, A. Savarese, S. Carpano, M. Della Giulia, A. Pozzi, A. Silvani, P. Gaviani, V. Scaioli, B. Jandolo, L. Bove, F. Cognetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: The clinical use of cisplatin chemotherapy is limited by severe peripheral neurotoxicity reported in up to 90% of patients receiving a cumulative dose higher than 300 mg/m. The present study evaluates the neuroprotective effect of antioxidant supplementation (vitamin E) in patients treated with cisplatin chemotherapy. Methods: A total of 108 patients treated with cisplatin chemotherapy were randomly assigned to receive vitamin E supplementation (α-tocopherol 400 mg/day) or placebo. Treatment was started orally before chemotherapy and continued for 3 months after the suspension of cisplatin. Results: Of 108 randomized patients, 68 received at least one clinical and neurophysiologic examination after cisplatin CT; 41 patients received a cumulative dose of cisplatin higher than 300 mg/m and were eligible for statistical analysis: 17 in the vitamin E group (group 1) and 24 in the placebo group (group 2). The incidence of neurotoxicity was significantly lower in group 1 (5.9%) than in group 2 (41.7%) (p <0.01). The severity of neurotoxicity, measured with a validated neurotoxicity score (Total Neuropathy Score [TNS]), was significantly lower in patients receiving vitamin E than those receiving placebo (mean TNS 1.4 vs 4.1; p <0.01). Conclusions: This phase III study confirms the neuroprotective role of vitamin E against cisplatin peripheral neurotoxicity. Vitamin E supplementation should be adopted in patients receiving cisplatin-based chemotherapy. CLASSIFICATION OF EVIDENCE: This study provides Class II evidence that vitamin E supplementation significantly reduces the relative risk of developing signs or symptoms of neurotoxicity (relative risk = 0.14) (95% confidence interval = 0.02-1.00, p <0.05).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)762-766
Number of pages5
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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