Investigating the effect of zinc on the prevention of acute peripheral neuropathy in cancer patients treated with taxanes

Document Type : Original Article


1 Division of Hematology and Oncology, Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

2 Community and Preventive Medicine Department, School of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Science, Isfahan, Iran

3 Internal Medicine Resident, Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran


Background: Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) is a major complication of many chemotherapeutic agents, including taxanes. Here, we aimed to investigate the effect of zinc on CIPN. Materials and Methods: This is a double-blinded controlled clinical trial that was performed in 2020–2021 in Isfahan on 55 cancer patients. We collected the data regarding CIPN, its severity, presence of abnormal deep-tendon reflexes, paresthesia, restriction in daily activities, and restriction in self-care and pain. Patients were divided into two groups: Patients in the first group were treated with capsules of zinc sulfate 25 mg daily and the control group received placebo. The duration of treatments was 3 months. Patients were visited 6, 9, and 12 weeks after study initiation. Results: There was a statistically significant decrease in the frequency of CIPN in the intervention group (37.03% vs. 14.8%, P < 0.001). The evaluation of the severity of neuropathy and presence of abnormal deep-tendon reflexes also demonstrated significant decrease in the intervention group during the study (< 0.001 for both), but no significant changes were observed in the placebo group (> 0.05). The activity limitations and pain severity improved significantly both in the intervention and placebo groups (< 0.001 for both groups and items). The intervention group, however, had significantly lower frequencies of activity limitation and lower pain severity within compared to the control group during the study (< 0.0 01). Conclusion: Zinc supplement therapy resulted in reduced frequency and intensity of CIPN in patients undergoing chemotherapy with taxanes.


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