SLU Aims to Curb Painful Chemotherapy Side Effects

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) — Researchers at Saint Louis University hope to ease the pain that frequently comes from chemotherapy treatments.

The official term is called, chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy, and an estimated 30 to 40 percent of cancer patients treated with chemotherapy experience symptoms.

It usually starts in the hands and/or feet and creeps up the arms and legs. Sometimes it feels like a tingling or numbness. Other times, it’s more of a shooting and/or burning pain or sensitivity to temperature. Lead researcher Daniela Salvemini says the sharp or stabbing pain can make it difficult to perform normal day-to-day tasks like buttoning a shirt or walking.

Salvemini and her team are looking at two molecules which she says could be used as warning signs, and to eventually help doctors develop therapies to eliminate or limit symptoms.

“We hope to reduce the pain and not interfere with the effectiveness of the drug,” said Salvemini.

She says too often people stop or reduce doses of chemotherapy because the pain is so bad.

Related articles:
SLU Researcher Aims to Ease Chemotherapy Pain with Grant from Mayday Fund

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