EAZ171 Clinical Trial

Studying peripheral neuropathy in Black women with breast cancer

The EAZ171 study is designed to help learn why Black women experience more neuropathy and which drugs are best at reducing it.

Findings reported from EAZ171 study at 2024 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting:

Chemotherapy type can be personalized to decrease harmful side effects for Black patients with breast cancer

Researchers at the IU Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center have discovered that Black patients with breast cancer who are treated with a chemotherapy called docetaxel experience less of a harmful side effect called peripheral neuropathy. Their findings represent an important shift in knowledge about a patient population who’ve historically been underrepresented in breast cancer research.

Read about the findings

Why is this study needed?

Recent research shows that patients of African ancestry who take chemotherapy drugs such as docetaxel or paclitaxel have a higher risk for neuropathy.

Symptoms of this side effect most often appear in the hands and feet and include:

  • Numbness, tingling, and pain
  • Muscle weakness
  • Sensitivity to temperature

These symptoms are collectively called neuropathy. Through this trial, we can identify the better treatment specific to women of African ancestry with breast cancer to reduce neuropathy.

Why is it important for Black women to participate in this clinical trial?

Because of past wrongs done by researchers and a lack of trials focused on patients of African ancestry, Black patients are strikingly under-represented within clinical trials.

As a result, our knowledge of cancer treatments is based mostly on the information gathered from white patients. Our research shows that Black patients have a much higher risk of experiencing side effects from chemotherapy, especially neuropathy.

Neuropathy causes doctors to lower or even stop chemotherapy doses in their patients. In turn, breast cancer comes back (recurs) more often in Black patients than white patients, resulting in lower survival rates among Black patients.

Neuropathy is painful, can impact quality of life, and is sometimes permanent.

The American Society of Clinical Oncology considers neuropathy caused by chemotherapy to be one of the three most important survivorship issues impacting cancer patients.

This study is closed to accrual.


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