Purpose: Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) is a dose-limiting side effect of chemotherapy. Several trials have evaluated the protective effect of vitamin E in preventing CIPN with controversial results. This study aims to outline the role of vitamin E in preventing CIPN.
Methods: A prospective phase II, open-label randomized controlled study was conducted in patients receiving taxane-based chemotherapy in Ain Shams University Hospitals, using vitamin E at a dose of 400 mg twice daily. The primary endpoint was the incidence of grade ≥ 2 sensory neuropathy according to CTCAE v 5.0 in each treatment arm. Secondary endpoints include time to onset and the duration of grade ≥ 2 sensory neuropathy.
Results: A total of 140 patients were randomized between the control and vitamin E arms. There was no difference in the incidence of grade ≥ 2 sensory neuropathy between the two arms (25.7% in each arm; P = 1.0), as well as the time to onset of neuropathy (P = 0.24). However, there was a statistically significant difference between the 2 arms as regards the duration of neuropathy. The median duration was 12.5 vs. 5 weeks in the control and vitamin E arms respectively (P = 0.01).
Conclusion: Our study did not demonstrate a protective role of vitamin E in decreasing the incidence of CIPN in patients receiving taxane-based chemotherapy. However, the recovery from CIPN was much better as compared to the control arm, which may indicate a role for vitamin E in decreasing the duration and severity of CIPN.