Issue: 2013 > April > original article

Bortezomib-induced polyneuropathy

A.J.J. Rampen, J.L.M. Jongen, I. van Heuvel, M. Scheltens-de Boer, P. Sonneveld, M.J. van den Bent


Background: Peripheral neuropathy is a frequent side
effect of bortezomib chemotherapy. Relatively little is
known about the clinical characteristics of this neuropathy,
especially with respect to pain. Our aim was to describe the clinical characteristics and course of bortezomib-induced polyneuropathy. Methods: This is a retrospective cohort study of 39 patients diagnosed with bortezomib-induced polyneuropathy. Results: Pain is the most prominent symptom and 14 of 39 patients suffered from severe pain. More than 50% of our patients used analgesics due to moderate or severe pain. We found no correlation between severity of symptoms of bortezomib-induced polyneuropathy and cumulative dose or dose intensity of bortezomib. Nerve conduction studies did not correlate well with symptom severity. Dose reduction or discontinuation of treatment reduced severity in most cases. Conclusion: Painful polyneuropathy is a frequent,
dose-limiting side effect of bortezomib with a relatively
good prognosis. Careful neurological monitoring of
symptoms and timely dose adjustment is important.