Easing Chemo's Side Effects

Nursing researcher looks to over-the-counter drug to control neuropathy symptoms.

An over-the-counter drug already used to help some patients with certain types of cancer control the side effects of chemotherapy could also be helpful for people with blood and bone marrow cancers, according to a researcher at the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University.

Doctoral candidate Beth Faiman is leading a study to see if Glutamine can help control peripheral neuropathy-nerve damage from chemotherapy that leaves some patients with severe numbing and tingling in their hands and feet. The over-the-counter-medication has already proven effective in controlling the symptoms in some patients with breast and colon cancer.

With support from an Oncology Nursing Society Foundation small research grant and the National Institutes of Nursing Research/National Institutes of Health's National Research Service Award program, she will study the drug's effectiveness in patients with multiple myeloma.