Chemotherapy patients past and present needed for research

IN FOCUS Study

Assessing Chemotherapy Induced Peripheral Neuropathy

What is Chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN)?

CIPN occurs when certain types of chemotherapy damage peripheral nerves. This can result in numbness, tingling, pain or weakness in the feet, lower legs, hands and fingers.

What is the purpose of this study?

The purpose of this research project is to improve our understanding of nerve problems following chemotherapy treatment in people with cancer, which may lead to better treatment and management of these symptoms.

What does the study involve?

Hand function

You will be asked to undertake several tests to investigate your hand function. These will include tests to assess the sensitivity of your sense of touch and tests to examine your manual dexterity and how quickly you can manipulate objects.

Nerve studies

You will be asked to undergo a non- invasive nerve conduction study or excitability study of the nerves supplying the hand and feet. These tests record the properties of electrical impulses travelling along your nerves using stick-on-electrodes.

Medical history and Examination

We will ask you about your medical history, current medications and any risk factors for nerve damage. Then a brief standard neurological clinical examination will be undertaken to assess your nerve function.

Questionnaires

You will be asked to complete questions relating to nerve symptoms, how they effect your daily life. Some questions will enquire as to your use of health services, income and work status to try to determine the overall impacts of nerve damage.

How long will it take?

The assessments will take around 1.5 - 2 hours. If you are about to begin your chemotherapy, we would like to conduct these assessments before you start your treatment, midway, at the end of treatment and at a follow-up appointment. If you have already completed your chemotherapy, there would only be one assessment Confidentiality Any information obtained in connection with this research project that can identify you will remain confidential.

Contact Information

Further information can be provided by the Participant information Statement and Consent Form. This contains additional, pertinent information and should be read prior to agreeing to take part. For a copy or any other enquiries about the study contact:

Dr Eva Battaglini

E: eva.battaglini@unsw.edu.au

T: 02 9382 8837

Jenna Murray

E: jenna.murray@unsw.edu.au

T: 02 9382 2413

Date Published: 
Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Testimonials

"At first a felt a bit funny about talking to a lady about my problems after my cancer treatment, but my doctor is really nice and really understanding.  Plus she is an oncologist so she understands all the medical stuff that goes along with cancer treatment so I didn't have to explain things to her the way I did to my GP.  I felt like she really understood where I was coming from and gave me some good strategies to help with my issues.  And she wrote a care plan and sent a copy to my GP as well, so hopefully now when I go to see him he will feel like he is better able to treat me."

Anthony, prostate cancer survivor
"At 26 I was diagnosed with a rare form of ovarian cancer... having survived this (thanks to a great medical team), I ‘floundered’ for many years with the resulting impact of early menopause, fertility issues and general fatigue. Even worse, I felt extreme guilt that I should be able to overcome these issues easily as I survived when others didn’t, I really didn’t have the right to ever complain again. This impacted directly on my confidence, self esteem and identity. ……I am now 46, have 2 children, a partner, a career and a good life.  However, the struggle I had undergone, in pretty much isolation, has been hard.  Even friends and family who were great during treatment felt I should ‘just move on’.  The establishment of this centre is a great comfort as it shows there is now a greater awareness of cancer survivor issues to hopefully ensure better long term support for people who have had cancer."

Melinda, ovarian cancer survivor 
"I am aware of the National Centre for Cancer Survivorship and support them in their mission to find new and better ways to care for cancer survivors through research. With the high number of Australians now surviving cancer or living with ongoing cancer for many years, we need to better understand the health issues confronting this group and develop interventions to address their unique and often complex needs. As someone who has worked in the medical oncology setting for 20 years, I believe the National Centre for Cancer Survivorship is leading the way in this work."

Dr Elizabeth Hovey, MB BS FRACP MSC - Medical Oncologist, SESIAHS & UNSW, Prince of Wales Hospital
"As Director of the Kids Cancer Centre, Sydney Children’s Hospital and Professor of Paediatrics at the University of NSW, I have watched the development of the National Centre for Cancer Survivorship over the last few years. I strongly support the opportunity the Centre provides to bring together research focusing on survivors of childhood cancer with that focusing on adult survivors. In both areas it is clear that there are many unresolved challenges in understanding the health care needs of cancer survivors, and developing best practice interventions for both prevention and treatment of those problems. I believe wholeheartedly that the work that being undertaken through the Centre will benefit both kids and adult survivors people for many years to come."

Professor Glenn Marshall, AM, MB, BS, FRACP, MD Paediatric Haematologist & Oncologist, Director, Kids Cancer Centre, Sydney Children’s Hospital