TAMPA, Fla. – Taxanes are a group of drugs commonly used to treat cancers of the breast, lung, ovary, or prostate, but its use can be limited by significant side effects. Researchers from Moffitt Cancer Center report prostate cancer patients who have a variation in the VAC14 gene are more susceptible to a side effect called peripheral neuropathy when treated with the taxane docetaxel.
Peripheral neuropathy is a common side effect of taxane treatment. Patients who suffer from this condition have damage to their peripheral nerves and experience weakness, numbness and pain usually in their hands or feet and occasionally in other areas of the body. This can limit the use of an otherwise effective cancer treatment.