Public Release: 23-Feb-2017
Nicotinamide riboside (vitamin B3) prevents nerve pain caused by cancer drugs
Findings in female rats may lead to improved outcomes for patients receiving chemotherapy to treat breast and ovarian cancer
University of Iowa Health Care
A new study in rats suggests that nicotinamide riboside (NR), a form of vitamin B3, may be useful for treating or preventing nerve pain (neuropathy) caused by chemotherapy drugs. The findings by researchers at the University of Iowa were published recently in the Journal of the International Association for the Study of Pain (PAIN) and lay the groundwork for testing whether this nutritional supplement can reduce nerve pain in cancer patients receiving chemotherapy.
Although chemotherapies have improved cancer survival rates, many of these drugs also cause debilitating side effects that decrease the quality of life of patients and survivors. In particular, many anti-cancer drugs cause chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) -- nerve damage and pain.
"Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy can both hinder continuation of treatment and persist long after treatment has ended, severely affecting the quality of life of cancer patients," says Marta Hamity, PhD, UI assistant research scientist and first author on the study. "Our findings support the idea that NR could potentially be used to prevent or mitigate CIPN in cancer patients, resulting in a meaningful improvement in their quality of life and the ability to sustain better and longer treatment."