Pre-existing neuropathy, a not uncommon feature in oncologic patients, is a potential but non-confirmed risk factor to develop early or severe chemotherapy-induced neuropathy. The main goal of this study is to evaluate the role of pre-existing neuropathy induced by vincristine (VNC) or bortezomib (BTZ) as a risk factor to develop more severe BTZ-induced neuropathy in a mouse model. VNC, at doses of 1 and 1.5 mg/kg given twice per week for 4 weeks, induced a moderate and severe sensory-motor neuropathy, primarily axonal, with predominant involvement of myelinated sensory axons. The neuropathy induced by BTZ at dose of 1 mg/kg given twice per week for 6 weeks was a mild axonal sensory neuropathy involving myelinated and unmyelinated fibers. The neuropathy in mice previously treated and retreated with the same schedule of BTZ after 4 weeks of washout period was similar in profile and severity to the one observed after the first treatment. When basal neuropathy was classified as moderate (most of BTZ-treated animals) or severe (all VNC-treated animals and two BTZ-treated animals), there was a more marked decline in sensory nerve function during BTZ retreatment in the group with basal severe neuropathy (-86%) than in the groups with basal mild (-57%) or without neuropathy (-52%; p < 0.001). Histopathological findings supported the functional results. Therefore, this study shows that the presence of a severe neuropathy previous to treatment with an antitumoral agent, such as BTZ, results in a more marked involvement of peripheral nerves. © 2011 Peripheral Nerve Society.
- pre-existing neuropathy