Intravenous calcium and magnesium for oxaliplatin-induced sensory neurotoxicity in adjuvant colon cancer: NCCTG N04C7

Axel Grothey, Daniel A. Nikcevich, Jeff A. Sloan, John W. Kugler, Peter T. Silberstein, Todor Dentchev, Donald B. Wender, Paul J. Novotny, Umesh Chitaley, Steven R. Alberts, Charles L. Loprinzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

154 Scopus citations


Purpose: Cumulative sensory neurotoxicity (sNT) is the dose-limiting toxicity of oxaliplatin, which commonly leads to early discontinuation of oxaliplatin-based therapy in the palliative and adjuvant settings. In a nonrandomized, retrospective study, intravenous (IV) calcium/magnesium (Ca/Mg) was associated with reduced oxaliplatin-induced sNT. Methods: Patients with colon cancer undergoing adjuvant therapy with infusional fluorouracil, leucovorin, and oxaliplatin (FOLFOX) were randomly assigned to Ca/Mg (1g calcium gluconate plus 1g magnesium sulfate pre- and post-oxaliplatin) or placebo, in a double-blinded manner. The primary end point was the percentage of patients with grade 2 or greater sNT at any time during or after oxaliplatin-based therapy by National Cancer Institute Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (NCI CTCAE; version 3) criteria. An oxaliplatin-specific sNT scale and patient questionnaires were also used to assess sNT. After 104 of 300 planned patients were enrolled, the study was closed. This was due to preliminary reports from another trial that suggested that Ca/Mg decreased treatment efficacy; these data were subsequently found to be incorrect. Results: Overall, 102 patients were available for analysis. Ca/Mg decreased the incidence of chronic, cumulative, grade 2 or greater sNT, as measured by NCI CTCAE (P = .038) and also by the oxaliplatin-specific sNT scale (P = .018). In addition, acute muscle spasms associated with oxaliplatin were significantly reduced (P = .01) No effect on acute, cold-induced sNT was found. No substantial differences in adverse effects were noted between Ca/Mg and placebo. Conclusion: Despite early termination and decreased statistical power, this study supports IV Ca/Mg as an effective neuroprotectant against oxaliplatin-induced cumulative sNT in adjuvant colon cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)421-427
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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