Are Ergothioneine Levels in Blood Associated with Chronic Peripheral Neuropathy in Colorectal Cancer Patients Who Underwent Chemotherapy?

Renate M. Winkels, Lieve van Brakel, Harm van Baar, Robert B. Beelman, Fränzel J.B. van Duijnhoven, Anne Geijsen, Henk K. van Halteren, Bibi M.E. Hansson, John P. Richie, Dongxiao Sun, Evertine Wesselink, Moniek van Zutphen, Ellen Kampman, Dieuwertje E. Kok

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objective: Chronic Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy (CIPN) is highly prevalent among colorectal cancer (CRC) patients. Ergothioneine (ET)–a dietary antioxidant -protected against CIPN in experimental models, but human studies are lacking. We explored whether whole blood ET levels were associated with chronic peripheral neuropathy among CRC patients who had completed chemotherapy. Methods: At diagnosis, median ET-concentration in whole blood of 159 CRC patients was 10.2 μg/ml (7.2–15.8). Patients completed questionnaires on peripheral neuropathy 6 months after completion of chemotherapy. We calculated prevalence ratios (PR) to assess associations of ET-concentrations and prevalence of peripheral neuropathy and used linear regression to assess associations with severity of peripheral neuropathy. Results: Prevalence of total and sensory peripheral neuropathy were both 81%. Higher ET-concentrations tended to be associated with lower prevalence of total and sensory peripheral neuropathy, but not statistically significant (highest versus lowest tertile of ET: PR = 0.93(0.78, 1.11) for total neuropathy, and PR = 0.84(0.70, 1.02) for sensory neuropathy). ET-concentrations were not associated with severity of neuropathy. Conclusion: Statistically significant associations were not observed, possibly because of limited sample size. Although data may putatively suggest higher levels of ET to be associated with a lower prevalence of neuropathy, analyses should be repeated in larger populations with larger variability in ET-concentrations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)451-459
Number of pages9
JournalNutrition and cancer
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Oncology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Cancer Research


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