Is CT-based body composition associated with long-term chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy in colorectal cancer survivors?

D. Smit, F. Mols*, C.S. Bonhof, M.J. L. Bours, G. Vreugdenhil, S. Beijer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) is a common side effect among colorectal cancer (CRC) survivors, and the severity is mainly dependent on the chemotherapy dose. Nowadays, chemotherapy dose is based on body surface area, while determination based on more accurate measures of body composition may be better. This study aimed to investigate the association between body composition and long-term CIPN among CRC survivors 2–11 years after diagnosis.

Data from CRC survivors from the population-based PROFILES registry were used. Survivors were included when they received chemotherapy, filled in the EORTC QLQ-CIPN20, and had a computed tomography (CT) scan at diagnosis (n = 202). Total, sensory, motor, and autonomic CIPN were based upon the EORTC QLQ-CIPN20. The abdominal CT scans were used to determine skeletal muscle index (SMI), skeletal muscle density (SMD), visceral adipose tissue (VAT), subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT), and total adipose tissue (TAT). Logistic regression was used to analyze the association between CIPN outcomes and body composition variables.

CIPN was experienced by 64% of the CRC survivors several years after chemotherapy. More SAT was associated with a higher odds of reporting total CIPN (OR = 1.01 95% CI 1.00–1.01, p = 0.01), motor CIPN (OR = 1.01 95% CI 1.00–1.01, p = 0.01), and sensory CIPN (OR = 1.01 95% CI 1.00–1.01, p = 0.04). No associations of other body composition parameters with CIPN were observed.

Only SAT was associated with total, motor, and sensory CIPN. Based on these results, we cannot conclude that determining the chemotherapy dose based on body composition is preferred over determining the chemotherapy dose based on body surface to prevent CIPN. More research is needed to assess associations of body composition with CIPN, a common side effect of chemotherapy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6071-6078
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Adipose tissue
  • Body composition
  • Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Computed tomography
  • MASS
  • Skeletal muscle density
  • Skeletal muscle mass


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