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2019 GI Symposium: Oxaliplatin-Induced Neurotoxicity in Colorectal Cancer

By: Celeste L. Dixon
Posted: Thursday, February 7, 2019

Although it is known to have antioxidant and neuroprotective properties, monosialotetrahexosylganglioside (GM1), a glycosphingolipid, was not shown to prevent neurotoxicity caused by oxaliplatin treatment for stage II or III colorectal cancer. The randomized, double-blind phase III study, conducted by Yu-Hong Li, MD, PhD, of Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center, Guangzhou, China, and colleagues showed no significant difference between placebo and GM1 in preventing this prominent adverse effect of oxaliplatin-based therapy.

The investigators presented their work at the 2019 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium in San Francisco (Abstract 674). In the 186-patient trial, none of the measured outcomes differed significantly between GM1, given daily at 80 mg intravenously, and placebo. These outcomes included the rate of neurotoxicity as measured by the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality-of-Life Questionnaire–Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy 20 neuropathy scale (P = .89) and the rate of grade 2 or worse neurotoxicity as measured by the National Cancer Institute Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (P = .76).

GM1 did not substantially decrease oxaliplatin-induced acute neuropathy either, noted Dr. Li and his team. Furthermore, more patients taking GM1 than placebo withdrew from the study or had dose reductions (64.6% vs. 54.6%), but the difference was not statistically significant (P = .15).

Disclosure: The study authors’ disclosure information may be found at

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