Researchers at the University of Iowa and Oregon Health & Science University have found a way to prevent nerve damage caused by chemotherapy drugs. The approach bypasses a biochemical pathway that produces an important energy molecule and suggests a strategy for treating pain caused by some chemotherapy drugs.
Many anti-cancer drugs damage nerve fibers and cause severe and persistent pain known as chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN), which can decrease the quality of life for cancer patients and survivors.
The new study focuses on a set of biochemical pathways that are critical for the survival of nerves. In particular, these pathways are involved in producing and maintaining levels of a molecule called nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD), a central regulator of cell metabolism.