Female Cancer Survivors continue to experience neuropathy long after treatment.

06/15/17  Portland, Ore.

Dr. Kerri Winters-Stone, Ph.D. Research Professor at SON and co-leader of the Knight Cancer Institute Cancer Prevention and Control Program finds that cancer survivors still suffer after treatment.



Winters-Stone found that more than 500 female cancer survivors experience chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN), long after their cancer treatment is over. Peripheral neuropathy results from damage to the nerves that relay signals between the spinal cord and the rest of the body. The damage can also take away the sense of spatial positioning of arms and legs.

This study compared objective and self-report measures of physical function, gait patterns, and falls between women cancer survivors with and without symptoms of CIPN to identify targets for functional rehabilitation. "The study is one of the first to examine the relationship between CIPN and physical functioning using both laboratory-based and patient-reported outcomes," Winters-Stone said.

Kerri Winters'StoneWinters-Stone says, "Neuropathy can have a significant impact on a cancer survivor's quality of life, but most patients are told that if they get this symptom during treatment, it will go away." Strikingly, their study found that 45% of women still reported CIPN an average of 6 years after their treatment ended. Disability and falls were significantly greater among women who continued to experience CIPN and those who never had the symptoms or whose symptoms went away.

This study was published ahead of print in the Journal of Clinical Oncology (JCO). JCO has an impact factor of 24 and is the top clinical journal for medical oncology, so these findings should have an impact on clinical practice and inform providers to monitor patients for CIPN even after their cancer has been treated.

This study has been picked up by MedPage Today among others.

Other OHSU authors on this study include:

Peter Jacobs, Ph.D. – Biomedical Engineering

Fay Horak Ph.D. – Neurology

Phoebe Trubowitz, M.D. – Knight Cancer Institute

Nate Dieckman and Sydnee Stoyles, SON

This study has been picked up by MedPage Today among others.


Original study: Falls, Functioning, and Disability Among Women With Persistent Symptoms of Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy

Read the press release introducing the work Dr. Winters-Stone has achieved

ASCO Post News interview with Winters-Stone in 2016 on peripheral nueropathy