Current Issue - September/October 2023 - Vol 26 Issue 5


  1. 2023;26;E497-E507Lidocaine Infusion Versus Duloxetine for Prevention and Management of Taxane-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy among Breast Cancer Patients-A Randomized Controlled Study
    Randomized Controlled Trial
    Wessam Zakaria El-Amrawy, MD, PhD, Eman Ramadan Mohamed, PhD, Yasmine Nagy Elwany, PhD, Magda Mohamed Abo-Ollo, MD, Sahar Ahmed El-Karadawy, MD, and Gamal Mohamed Taha Abouelmagd, MD, PhD.

BACKGROUND: Taxane-induced peripheral neuropathy (TIPN) among breast cancer patients is considered one of the most devastating side effects affecting compliance to chemotherapy protocol and patients’ quality of life (QOL).

OBJECTIVES: This trial aimed to evaluate the effect of lidocaine infusion vs oral duloxetine on the incidence and severity of TIPN and QOL in patients with breast cancer scheduled for neoadjuvant taxane therapy (TT).

STUDY DESIGN: Prospective, randomized, single-blinded, controlled trial.

SETTING: This study was carried out on 60 patients with breast cancer scheduled for 12 weeks of TT at the Medical Research Institute Hospital, Alexandria University after obtaining local Ethics Committee approval (IORG008812) and getting a written informed consent from each patient. It was registered in the “clinical trials library for protocol registration and results system” with the number NCT04732455.

METHODS: Sixty women scheduled for TT weekly for 12 weeks, were randomly allocated to receive intravenous saline infusion in the control group (GC), or lidocaine 2mg/kg with saline infusion in the lidocaine group (GL), or saline infusion and 30 mg duloxetine in the duloxetine group (GD). All infusions were administered over 40 minutes before each TT. Oral duloxetine was prescribed once daily starting from the night before commencing TT and continued for 12 weeks. Douleur Neuropathique en 4 Questions (DN4) questionnaire was filled weekly to detect the incidence of neuropathic pain (NP). The nerve conduction study (NCS) aimed to detect and measure the degree of neuropathy before starting the chemotherapy protocol and post-12 weeks of Taxol Therapy. NP Scale was measured weekly to assess the severity of NP symptoms. Patients’ QOL was evaluated by the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer QOL Questionnaire-Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy 20-Item Scale.

RESULTS: Thirty-five percent of patients reported DN4 > 4 points in GC after 6 weeks of TT in comparison to 5% in GL and 0% in GD (P = .005). Moreover, the incidence rose to 75% in GC compared to 20% in GL and 25% GD at the end of TT (P < 0.001). The severity of symptoms, global pain intensity, and patients’ unpleasantness were significantly more in GC than GL and GD in the last 4 weeks of TT (P < 0.05). NCS showed that 55% and 25% of patients developed mild and moderate axonal neuropathy, respectively, in GC. In contrast, mild neuropathy was developed in 20% and 25% of patients in GL and GD, respectively, and moderate neuropathy in 5% in both groups. The negative impact of TT on QOL was more significant in GC than GL and GD at weeks 8 and 12 of TT (P < 0.001).

LIMITATIONS: Limited reference data for all treatment regimens to include in the Discussion section.

CONCLUSIONS: Lidocaine and duloxetine have a comparable effect to decrease the incidence and severity of TIPN. Moreover, patients’ QOL was significantly better in both groups.

KEY WORDS: Lidocaine infusion, duloxetine, taxane-induced peripheral neuropathy, breast cancer, DN4