Research News 2011

Here you'll find all the latest news in PN research. There will be information on work the Foundation is funding plus other industry news.  The connections to some of the website may take some time based on the speed of your PC; please be patient as you access the articles.

Chemo Induced Peripheral Neuropathy

Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy

HIV Peripheral Neuropathy

Complementary Therapies

Agent Orange and the VA

Other PN News


Chemo-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy:

October 2011: Colorectal Cancer Drug Linked with Nerve Damage

Oxaliplatin has become the standard of care for people with advanced colorectal cancer. It appears to cause nerve damage that may be permanent and worsens even months after treatment ends. Dr. Michael Polydefkis, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine professor and researcher, is leading a team to find ways of preventing or slowing the damage through nerve-protective therapies.

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Source: Oncology Nurse Advisor

October 2011: Cancer Researchers Study 'Scrambler Therapy' for Pain Relief

Researchers at University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center are testing a new pain therapy device for patients with nerve pain following chemotherapy treatments. With 40 percent of chemotherapy patients developing neuropathy it is an important step in finding new, effective treatments. Forty patients will be part of the clinical trial.

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Source: University of Wisconsin

October 2011: Cancer Patients Could Benefit from Greater Use of Rehabilitation

Kaiser Health just release information about studies which indicate that rehabilitation for cancer patients, during and after chemotherapy treatments, are necessary to regain enough functionality to perform ordinary activities. One patient realized that after 6 weeks of therapies for peripheral neuropathy and balance issues, she "didn't feel so limited by side effects any longer."

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Source: Kaiser Health News (in collaboration with the Washington Post)

October 2011: KRN5500 Demonstrated Significant Decrease in the Intensity of Neuropathic Pain in Patients with Cancer

DARA BioSciences, recently awarded fast track designation from the FDA for the development of their new drug for the treatment of neuropathic pain, has just released the results of a Phase II safety and efficacy study. The study showed KRN5500 demonstrated a statistically significant improvement in the relief of neuropathic pain versus a placebo.

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September 2011: Chemotherapy -induced Peripheral Neuropathy: A Debilitating Effect of Cancer

Colleen Erb, MSN, ACNP-BC, AOCNP, from Fox Chase Cancer Center writes about the debilitating effects of cancer treatments for patients - sepcifically peripheral neuropathy. Her article is in-depth and loaded with information.

Source: MarketWatch

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September 2011: Maijuana Extract Might Help Prevent Chemotherapy-related Nerve Pain

Cannabidiol - a compound derived from marijuana - may be a promising new treatment to prevent the development of painful neuropathy in patients receiving the chemotherapy drug paclitaxel. These results were published in Anesthesia & Analgesia based on animal experiments performed at Temple University School of Pharmacy, Philadelphia.

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Source: Newswise

September 2011: New Research has Potential to Alleviate Side Effects of Cancer Treatments

Berth Faiman, MSN, CNP, a doctoral candidate at the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University, is studying whether an over-the-counter medication could ease the side effects of chemotherapy for those being treated for blood or bone marrow cancers. With new treatments increasing the numbers of people surviving with multiple myeloma, more people are developing peripheral neuropathy - a side effect of the chemotherapy. Faiman will be studying Glutamine in a double-blind sutdy for those with multiple myeloma; it's already used to relieve symptoms in those with breast or colon cancer patients.

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September 2011: Conquer Cancer Foundation Presents Award to Dr. Schneider for his Research in Breast Cancer Patients

Dr. Bryan Schneider, MD, associate professor of medicine at Indiana University School of Medicine, was announced as the recipient of a $450,000 grant to further his research on the relationship between taxane-induced neuropathy and clinical outcomes with other chemotherapy treatments. About one-third of patients who receive chemotherapy with a taxane develop neuropathy. His research aims to provide insight into the mechanism of the neuropathy side effect, which would help scientist develop treatments to prevent the toxicity.

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Source: IUPUI Newsletter

September 2011: Diamyd Gets $3M to Develop Treatment for Chemotherapy-Induced PN

Diamyd Medical and the University of Michigan have been awarded a $3M three-year NIH grant to develop a product for use in preventing chemo-induced neuropathy. The product could be administered to cancer patients before they start chemotherapy treatments.

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Source: Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News

August 2011: DARA BioSciences Receives Fast Track Designation from FDA for Treatment of Chemotherapy-Induced Neuropathis Pain in Patients with Cancer

In a program designed to facilitate the development and expedite the review of new drugs, the FDA created the Fast Track program. DARA BioSciences has been awarded the Fast Track designation for their KRN5500 investigational drug which will be used for the treatment of neuropathic pain in cancer patients. DARA earlier reported positive results from its Phase II clinical trial. Amy Abernethy, MD, Director of Duke Cancer Care Research Program said, "....Patients with chemotherapy-indeced PN are distressing to treat....they have long lives ahead of them, but severe pain problems. ...I think KRN5500 holds promise as a potential help."

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Source: Globe Newswire

May 2011: Can CIPN be Prevented?

Many treatments have been used to try and prevent Chemo-induced Peripheral Neuropathy (CIPN). And, clinical trials are needed so researchers can find out more about what helps. has information you can use about potential treatments and clinical trials.

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May 2011: Genetic Test Could Predict When Myeloma Drugs Will Cause PN

The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) has published a new study stating that a genetic test has been found that predicts whether bone marrow cancer treatments, including thalidomide, are likely to cause peripheral neuropathy. All common treatment regimes for multiple myeloma, an aggressive cancer that affects a type of white blood cell in the bone marrow, contain at least one drug with the side-effect of neuropathy. The study raises the possibility that patients could have their blood screened for neuropathy risk genes.

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Source: Medical News Today

May 2011: Genetic Biomarker Predicts Taxane-induced Neuropathy

A new study has identified the first genetic biomarkers for taxane-induced peripheral neuropathy, a potentially severe complication of taxane chemotherapy. Dr. Bryan Schneider, lead author and a physician/researcher at the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center, said, "This may allow for better counseling, use of alternative drugs or schedules, or omission of taxane in the appropriate settings...."

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Source: ecancermedicalscience an open cancer journal from the European Institute of Oncology

Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy:

December 2011: Nerve Damage May Mask Hypothermia

Diabetic neuropathy may be an added risk for hypothermia because neuropathy can impair the body's ability to control body temperature. Neuropathy also poses a risk for frostbite. There are several winter complications to be aware of if you suffer with diabetic neuroapathy....

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Source: (Penn State)

November 2011: Exercise Plays Key Role in Controlling Diabetes

Statistics from the 2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheet reveal that a total of 25.8 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes. One of the complications of diabetes is peripheral neuropathy. Regular exercise is important for most diabetics because it helps regulate blood sugar. There are certain precautions that should be taken when beginning an exercise program. Be sure to check with your doctor first.

Source: Medscape

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Source: Dayton Daily News

October 2011: How Diabetic Neuropathy Damages the Feet and Legs

CNN has just published some important information for diabetics for monitoring the side effects of diabetic peripheral neuropathy. The old adage, 'An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure' is a reminder for patients to be diligent about foot care.

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Source: CNN/InHealth

October 2011: ViroMed Takes One Step Closer to Finding a Cure fo Diabetic Neuropathy

Results of a Phase I/II study on a new diabetic neuropathy therapeutic drug were presented at the 'BIO Korea 2011 Conference & Exhibition' held in Seoul, Korea. ViroMed announced the possibility of an innovative treatment method completely different from currently available treatments.

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October 2011: Cell Therapy for Diabetes Neurovascular Complications: NIH $6.1M Grant Funds New Studies

Emory University School of Medicine has just been granted a $6.1M grant from the NIH to conduct research on re-programming cells taken from bone marrow or peripheral blood of patients with diabetes to treat neurovascular complications such as diabetic neuropathy. The research team will include investigators from Emory, Georgia Tech, University of Alabama, and University of California at San Diego.

Source: Woodruff Health Sciences Center (Emory)

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October 2011: Blocking Pain - A Long-term Mission for Pharma Research

Developing new pain treatments is proving problematic but researchers gathered at the Visiongain Annual Pain Management conference in London to discuss current challenges in the field. Tthe discussion at the conference included neuropathic pain with a focus on diabetic pain and potential new treatment targets.

Source: InPharm

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September 2011: U of MI Earns $3 Million Grant to Develop Treatment for Nerve Damage

Univeristy of Michigan neurologist, David Fink, MD, leads the team studying treatment for nerve damage related to diabetes and chemotherapy. They will join Diamyd Inc. in a project funded by the NIH to develop a new treatment for preventing nerve damage. "This is a case of 'bench to bedside' research," Dr. Fink says.

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September 2011: Olive Leaf Extract May Help Fight Early-Diabetes Nerve Damage, Pain

At Kerman University of Medical Sciences in Kerman, Iran, researchers investigated the possible effects of olive leaf extract on in vitro and in vivo models of diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Their results suggest that olive leaf extract inhibits high glucose-induced neural damage and suppresses diabetes-induced thermail hyperalgesia, an increased sensation to pain.

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Source: ProHealth

August 2011: Four-Year Study in the Role of Nutrients in Diabetes Shows Most Promising Results

A recent study published in Diabetes Care higlighted the importance of R-Alpha Lipoic for the diets of diabetics. Nutri-Med Logic also reported that according to Current Diabetes Report, there is a valid relationship between nutritional supplementation of R-Alpha Lipoic and health benefits in type 2 diabetes.

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Source: PRWeb (

August 2011: Lpath Addresses Diabetic Neuropathic Pain with Financial Support by NIH

Lpath announced on August 15 the Type 1 Diabetes Preclinical Testing Program of the NIH will provide support for the further study of Lpathomab's efficacy in animal models of disease, particularly diabetic neuropathy. Lpathomab functions like a 'molecular sponge' that binds to, and neutralizes, the bioactive lipid signaling molecule, thus silencing receptors associated with the transmission of pain through the nervous system.

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Source: Marketwire

August 2011: Increased Nerve Fiber Density after Dietary Management with a Medical Food

A new study published by Pamlab, LLC, in the Review of Neurological Diseases measured epidermal nerve fiber density (ENFD) after using a nutritional management product, Metanx. Dispensed by prescription, the medical food offers a nutritional benefit by improving and maintaining blood flow in the vesels that carry important nutrients and oxygen to the peripheral nerves.

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Source: Nutrition Diet News

August 2011: Rosiglitazone Investigated for Neuropathic Pain

The diabetes drug rosiglitazone (Avandia) is now being explored as a pain medication. The drug was initially controversial with some experts wanting to banish it and others wanting very tight restrictions. In a study that will be published in Anesthesia and Analgesia, a team from Juntendo University School of Medicine in Tokyo, Japan, has some new findings.

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Source: MedScape Medical News

June 2011: Hopkins Research Suggests that Blood Vessels and Support Cells may be Real Targets of Treatment for Diabetic Nerve Damage

Blood vessels and supporting cells appear to be pivotal partners in repairing nerves ravagedby diabetic neuropathy, and nurturing their partnership with nerve cells might make the difference between success and failure in experimental efforts to regrow damaged nerves, Johns Hopkins researchers report in a new study. Current treatments focus on relieving symptoms but don't address the root cause by repairing nerve damage.

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Source: News Medical

May 2011: New Study Shows Tapentadol Extended Release May Significantly Reduce Average Pain for Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy

With more than 26 million people in the US living with diabetes, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control, approximately 60-70% of them will develop nerve damage called neuropathy at some point. New research has been published indicating that patients suffering with diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) may experience a significant improvement in their pain when using an experimental pain medication - Tapentadol ER.

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Source: PRNewswire

HIV Peripheral Neuropathy:

October 2011: New Drug Application Filed for Qutenza 8% Patch to Treat HIV-PN

A supplemental New Drug Application has been filed with the FDA to allow Qutenza to be applied as a 30-minute treatment for the pain of HIV-PN. A 60-minute application has previously been approved for the treatment of post-herpetic neuralgia. An approval would be very meaningful as this is a significant unmet medical need in the HIV community.

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Source: Pain Medicine News

September 2011: NeurogesX Submits Supplemental new Drug Application for Qutenza (R) 8% Patch for HIV-Associated Peripheral Neuropathy

Biopharmaceutical company, NeurogesX, announced it sumitted a supplemental new drug to the US FDA seeking to expand the label to include an application for the management of pain due to HIV-associated neuropathy. FDA Priority Review status is given to drug candidates that offer major advances in treatment and accelerated the standard review time. HIV-PN is the most common neurological complication of HIV infection.

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Source: Market Watch

May 2011: Capsaicin Patch Eases HIV Neuropathy Pain

In a report presented at the American Academy of Pain Medicine, Dr. Stephen J. Brown, states taht difficult to treat HIV-associated neuropathic pain appears to be eased for at least three months with a one-time, 30-minute application of an 8% capsaicin patch. Brown said, "More than half of people with HIV-infection develop neuropathy, and about 30-40% of them have painful neuropathy."

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Source: MedpageToday

May 2011: High Triglycerides Increase Risk of Neuropathy for Patients with HIV

In a study conducted by Dr. Sugato Banerjee of the HIV Neurobehavioral Research Center in San Diego and his colleagues a potential connection has been found between elevated lipid levels and neuropathy in people receiving antiretroviral treatments. Managing the elevated triglyceride levels may reduce the risk of developing this debilitating nerve condition.

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Source: adismap

Complementary Therapies

December 2011: Acupuncture Soothes Chemo-Induced Neuropathic Pain

According to the results of a small pilot study published in Acupuncture in Medicine, acupuncture may help relieve the severe pain associated with chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy.

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Source: Medscape Today

October 2011: Using Acupuncture for Side Effects of Chemotherapy

Fighting ovarian cancer for over 12 years, Barbara McQuade of Ft. Myers, FL, developed neuropathy in her hands and feet. Neuropathy is common in cancer patients. To give patients some relief, Lee Memorial Health System added an acupuncturist to their staff. Being used to treat not just the neuropathy but the nausea, vomiting and dry mouth that go along with chemotherapy treatment, Barbara is a believer - she is now able to put her hands around the steering wheel and feel it.

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October 2011: Nutritional Nerve Support

People often question what specific nutrients offer the best support for nerve health...what should they include? What should they avoid? Lynn Toohey, PhD, has compiled data from research to answer those questions.

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August 2011: Professors Research Benefits of Tai Chi in Degenerative Disease

Professor Li Li and his associates at Louisiana State University, continue to reseach the benefits of Tai Chi on people with peripheral neuropathy. Their project uses a simplified version of Tai Chi, an exercise that benefits the body witout stressing it. All the participants began the study doing seated Tai Chi but have progressed to doing the moves while standing.

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Source: LSU Reveille

Agent Orange and the VA:

October 2011: Steps for Vets

A retired radio operator, Ben Cordova, walked across Colorado to raise awareness about veterans' issues and to raise money for a Veterans Resource Center cope with the issues they face when they return from the military. Cordova is currently 'training' for his 'long walk' that will take him from San Diego to Washington, DC - 2,745 miles - beginning in February 2012. With neuropathy caused by Agent Orange during his service in Vietnam, he says he can only walk about 10 miles a day.

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Source: Trinidad (CO) Times

September 2011: Westover Vets Fight for Agent Orange Benefits

An Air Force reserve squadron out of Westover Air Force Base in Massachusetts, is finding some curious coincidences among the men who served with them. C-123 Provider planes used to spray Agent Orange during the Vietnam war were reassigned to domestic mission in the US. Dozens of these reservists have now been found to be sick - cancer, diabetes, heart disease, peripheral neuropathy, and other illnesses. Members of the 74th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron are now trying to get the VA to recognize that the crews who manned these 'spray planes' statesie were exposed to lingering Agent Orange contamination and should be included for benefits like those who went to Vietnam.

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Source: New Haven Independent

August 2011: Agent Orange Exposure Caused Wide Range of Ailments

The VA has recognized various types of neuropathy as a 'presumptive disease', meaning they are related to qualifying military service without proof. To find out if you qualify for benefits, this article will help simplify the VA criteria and provides a link to their website. .

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Source: The Leaf Chronicle

Other PN News:

October 2011: Potential Pruritus Treatments are as Varied as its Causes

The causes of itching, which affects everyone, are exacerbated by age. But there was good news at the Sixth World Congress on Itch held in France. One of the potential causes of itch in the elderly is nerve damage - peripheral neuropathy. Gabapentin can be helpful for treating the neuropathy though it has not been FDA approved for the itch.

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Source: Modern Medicine

October 2011: Residents Reach Out to Monroe County Commissioner to Solve Uranium Problem

A Monroe County, Georgia, resident, Donna Welch, has made a connection between her peripheral neuropathy and the levels of uranium in the county water supply. With some levels of uranium as high as 1500 parts per billion and the EPA maximun set at 30, they are getting involved to see what can be done.

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Source: 41NBC

September 2011: Lee Davis Eventually Approved for Social Security Benefits

Lee Davis, Baltimore, was in an accident at work in 2003 that left him with debilitating pain and neurological problems - including peripheral neuropathy. He and his wife, Vicki, tell their story of applying for disability benefits and being denied - after a two year wait. Working with an organization that helps people obtain benefits, and Baltimore's 11 News I-Team, his claim has finally been approved.

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September 2011: Scientists Find Gene that Controls Chronic Pain

Scientists at Cambridge University, London, have identified a gene responsible for regulating chronic pain. Their drug discovery should help drug researchers in their search for more effective, targeted pain-killing medicines. By studying the gene in mice, the were able to show that taking away the gene took away neuropathic pain. The drug will not affect normal acute pain.

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Source: Reuters

June 2011: Source of Mystery Pain Uncovered

For the 20 million Americans suffering with PN, there is no good treatment for the disorder and doctors can find no apparent cause in one of every three cases. An international team of scientists have found that mutations of a single gene are linked to 30 percent of cases of unexplained neuropathy. The findings, published in the Annals of Neurology in June, coule lead to desperately needed pain treatments for victims of this debilitating disorder.

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Source: ScienceDaily

June 2011: Genetic Clue to Painful Peripheral Neuropathy

A study published in the Annals of Neurology indicates that a single gene may be responsible for the pain suffered in many people with a type of peripheral neuropathy that previously had no known cause. The discovery could lead to effective treatments for the disorder.

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Source: Web MD

May 2011: New Treatments for Neuropathic Pain

Chronic pain is not just a problem of incidence; it is one of unique individual suffering. Chronic neuropathic pain causes untoward amount of suffering, and costs millions of dollars a year in lost work and healthcare costs. Current limited treatment options and patient suffering have energized a search for new and more effective treatments.

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Source: MedScape News