Use of Therapeutic Massage to Treat Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy (CIPN)

Posted:Friday, August 5, 2016

Joan E. Cunningham, PhD
Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC
Funded by a grant from the Palmer Foundation

Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) is a common debilitating side effect of many standard drugs used in cancer treatment. Research supporting the use of effective treatments for CIPN is lacking and the underlying physiologic mechanisms of CIPN are poorly understood. This one-year feasibility study will test the effects of therapeutic massage in relieving symptoms associated with CIPN. This work will provide the groundwork for clinical trials focused on the physiological processes involved in CIPN, and establish the feasibility of using massage to treat the symptoms of this condition. This non-randomized controlled study will be conducted with 15-18 patients with cancer. The protocol includes 12 therapeutic massage treatments in a 5-week period. Patient changes in CIPN signs, symptoms, pain and quality of life will be measured. Statistical methods will include standard summary statistics, multivariate generalized linear models and correlations between changes in outcome measures.