1 Department of Oncology and Palliative Care, Nordsjællands Hospital, The Capital Region of Denmark2 Department of Imaging and Radiology, Nordsjællands Hospital, The Capital Region of Denmark3 Oncology, Herlev and Gentofte Hospital, The Capital Region of Denmark4 Clinical Physiology and Nuclear Medicine, Herlev and Gentofte Hospital, The Capital Region of Denmark
BACKGROUND: The CAPOX regimen is used for adjuvant treatment of colorectal cancer. A well-known side effect of oxaliplatin, which often leads to dose modification (DM), is acute neuropathy (AN). AN is provoked by cold, and it could therefore be expected that the degree of AN and thereby DM is more pronounced in the winter period compared to the summer period. METHOD: Patients with colorectal cancer who received adjuvant CAPOX from January 2005 to August 2011 were reviewed. Out of 108 patients who received adjuvant CAPOX, the oxaliplatin dose was reduced in 92 (85%) patients due to AN. Seventeen out of 31 (55%) patients already had a DM of oxaliplatin in the second cycle during the winter period (December to February; mean temperature 0.1-1.8°C), while in the summer period (June to August; mean temperature 15.1-16.3°C), only 4 (13%) patients needed DM (OR = 2.5, p = 0.022). CONCLUSION: In this study, we found that the risk of DM and discontinuation of oxaliplatin is highest in the winter period compared to the other seasons. This study draws attention to the importance of training in the proper handling of the acute neurotoxicity of oxaliplatin.