Regis Professor of Breast Cancer Research
Paclitaxel, a drug commonly used to treat patients with breast cancer, causes numbness, tingling, and pain from nerve injury called chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN). These bothersome symptoms can be moderate to severe and last for a year or longer following completion of paclitaxel therapy. Therefore, effective prevention of this toxicity could dramatically improve quality of life for these patients. Despite the fact that many different agents having been tested for prevention of CIPN, none have yet been proven to be helpful. Cryotherapy, or ice therapy, can decrease nerve damage related to paclitaxel by causing blood vessels to constrict, thereby decreasing the amount of chemotherapy reaching the nerves. Dr. Loprinzi is conducting a pilot randomized, controlled trial, in which small bags of ice will be placed on the tops of the fingers and toes of patients before, during and immediately following paclitaxel infusion. The data from this trial will provide an estimate of the amount of potential benefit from this approach. If this study and a proposed subsequent larger randomized phase III trial demonstrates that cryotherapy is helpful it would be a tremendous relief for patients with breast cancer.
Dr. Loprinzi is currently the Regis Professor of Breast Cancer Research at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN where he is an emeritus chair of the Division of Medical Oncology and an emeritus Vice-Chair of the Department of Oncology.
He has run an active cancer control program directed toward both cancer prevention efforts and symptom control efforts, which has led to the publication of over 300 articles and book chapters, with over 100 publications in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
Dr. Loprinzi served as the founding editor for the Art of Oncology section of the Journal of Clinical Oncology from 2000, through 2010. In addition, he edited two anthologies of articles from the Art of Oncology series that are available via the Kindle electronic book format.
His work has lead to him receiving two awards from the Susan B Komen Foundation: the Komen Foundation Brinker award in 2002 and the 2005 Komen Foundation Professor of Survivorship. In 2005, he was awarded the 2006 Clinical Research Award by the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC). In 2006, he was awarded the North American Menopausal Society (NAMS) Vasomotor Symptoms Research Award.