Prevent or minimise nerve damages following chemotherapy for breast cancer

More and more cancer patients survive thanks to new and more efficient chemotherapy treatments. Unfortunately, chemotherapy comes with a lot of side effects. Nerve damages are a common side effect that reduces the quality of life for the patients and impairs treatment because of a subsequent need to use smaller doses.

Once the nerve damages have already occurred, they cannot be treated. Earlier studies have shown that local cooling can reduce chemotherapy-induced side effects such as nail damages and skin problems on hands and feet. The patients are provided with “cooling socks” and “cooling gloves” during the chemotherapy treatment. The theory behind this procedure is that the cold reduces blood circulation in hands and feet, thereby protecting the tissue against the chemotherapy.

“The support from The Vissing Foundation is used to implement a project in which we investigate whether chemotherapy-induced nerve damages can be reduced or avoided by using “cooling socks”/”cooling gloves”. Through this project we hope to prove that local cooling can support an optimal chemotherapy procedure by eliminating the need to use smaller doses or even postpone treatment. Our goal is to improve treatment efficiency, survival rates and the quality of life for breast cancer patients. This research can lead to local cooling becoming a standard treatment for patients undergoing chemotherapy in order to avoid nerve damages as one of the common side effects,” Ph.D. Maria Lendorf, specialist registrar, explains.