They manage to prevent neuropathic pain associated with colon cancer chemotherapy
Researchers from the Institute of Neurosciences (IN) of Alicante have discovered how prevent neuropathic pain associated with chemotherapy in colon cancer treatments, the second most diagnosed type of cancer, through treatment, before chemotherapy, with a protein that controls pain and can even prevent the development of these symptoms.
The study, carried out on mice, has been published in the journal Brain and it is the result of several years of research of the Sensory Transduction and Nociception Group of the Institute of Neurosciences, in collaboration with scientists from the company ESTEVE Pharmaceuticalsthe research center itself has reported.
the researcher Elvira de la Penawhich together with Felix Viana led the project, highlighted that “the results of the study show that treatment before chemo with a sigma 1 receptor antagonist, a key protein in pain control, largely prevents the development of these neuropathic symptoms associated with the administration of oxaliplatin, one of the components of chemotherapy.
The Institute of Neurosciences, a joint center of the Superior Council of Scientific Investigations (CSIC) and the Miguel Hernández University (UMH), explained in a statement that a high percentage of cancer patients treated with chemotherapy develop hypersensitivity to cold and touch in the extremities and mouth, which is known as painful neuropathy due to chemotherapeutic agents.
Thus, the development of this painful neuropathy determines the maximum dose of chemotherapy administered and compromises its efficacy and patient survival, and even Forces to abandon chemotherapy in some casescompromising the survival of patients, have highlighted from the Institute of Neurosciences.
De la Peña recalled that colorectal is the second most diagnosed tumor and constitutes the second cause of death from cancer, as well as that to treat it with chemotherapy, the use of oxaliplatin in combination with other antitumor drugs is included.
“In a large number of patients, oxaliplatin causes numbness, tingling in the fingers or pain in the hands and feet when touching metal objects, discomfort that can become very disabling and affect the normal performance of daily activities, such as walking or dressing. », they have underlined from the research center.
Thus, De la Peña has pointed out that “using biochemical techniques we show that the TRPA1 channel it needs to interact with the sigma-1 receptor, forming a molecular complex, for its correct expression on the surface of neurons».
“Later, we verified that the mice treated with the antagonist of Sigma-1a key protein in pain control during oxaliplatin administration, normalized their response to painful stimuli”, he added.
However, he stressed that having been tested on animals, “we must be cautious when transferring these findings to the clinic”, since “a clinical trial in patients is needed”.
“However, these results are an important step in understanding this pathology and offer hope that in the future they can be used as a new therapy for the treatment and prevention of these disabling side effects of anticancer treatments”, concluded the researcher Félix Viana.
Both have argued that since there are different chemotherapeutic agents and each one gives rise to a somewhat different spectrum of symptoms, in future studies the IN researchers plan to determine if what they have discovered for the oxaliplatin it can be generalized to other anticancer agents used in the treatment of different tumors.