Symptoms of neuropathy most often appear in the hands and feet and include numbness, tingling, pain, muscle weakness, and sensitivity to temperature. The American Society of Clinical Oncology considers neuropathy caused by chemotherapy to be one of the three most important survivorship issues impacting cancer patients. This discomfort can be so great that doctors lower or even stop chemotherapy doses in their patients. When this happens, cancer is more likely to come back (recur).
Recent research shows patients of African ancestry have a much higher risk of experiencing side effects from chemotherapy, especially neuropathy, and thus have a higher risk of discontinuing treatment. This results in increased recurrence and worse survival rates in Black patients compared with White patients.
Study EAZ171, led by Bryan P. Schneider, MD of Indiana University School of Medicine, aims to improve outcomes for Black women with breast cancer by:
Through this work, researchers hope to definitively conclude which treatment is better, and less likely to cause neuropathy, for women of African ancestry. They also hope to learn more about why Black women, specifically, are more susceptible to neuropathy.
The full title for trial EAZ171 is: Docetaxel or Paclitaxel in Reducing Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy in African American Patients with Stage I-III Breast Cancer.
Learn more about study EAZ171.