Extremity Cooling: A Synthesis of Cryotherapy Interventions to Reduce Peripheral Neuropathy and Nail Changes From Taxane-Based Chemotherapy

peripheral neuropathy, taxanes, extremity cooling, nail changes, cryotherapy
CJON 2019, 23(5), 522-528. DOI: 10.1188/19.CJON.522-528

Background: Taxane-based chemotherapies are frequently used to treat solid tumor cancers. Two significant side effects include nail changes and/or peripheral neuropathy. These side effects can cause pain, infections, dose reductions, and treatment delays, all of which negatively affect quality of life.

Objectives: This article synthesizes the literature on efficacy and tolerability of extremity cryotherapy during taxane administration to identify if it is an intervention that can be provided to patients to mitigate these symptoms.

Methods: A literature review was performed using PubMed®, the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Ovid, Web of Science, and CINAHL®. 46 articles were initially identified, and 10 articles were reviewed (5 related to nail changes and 5 related to neuropathy).

Findings: Larger, powered studies are needed on these topics; however, existing data suggest this intervention as a promising low-risk option for mitigating the severity of nail changes and peripheral neuropathy related to taxane chemotherapy.

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