Anti-Colorectal Cancer Chemotherapy-Induced Diarrhoea: Current Treatments and Side-Effects


Chemotherapy-induced diarrhoea (CID) is a common side-effect experienced by patients being treated with a variety of antineoplastic agents. Approximately 80% of patients undergoing chemotherapeutic treatment for colorectal and other gastrointestinal cancers present with CID; moreover, about 5% of early deaths associated with combination anti-cancer chemotherapy are due to CID. Chronic post-treatment diarrhoea amongst cancer survivors can persist for more than 10 years greatly effecting long-term quality of life. Gastrointestinal toxicities such as diarrhoea and vomiting are amongst the primary contributors to dose reductions and delays throughout anti-cancer treatment, presenting a significant hurdle in clinical management of anti-cancer regimes and often result in sub-optimum treatment. However, little is known about pathophysiological mechanisms underlying CID. This work provides a review of chemotherapy-induced diarrhoea, current management guidelines, and shortcomings of current treatments as well as emerging and already existing anti-diarrhoeal treatments potentially suitable for CID.

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McQuade, R. , Bornstein, J. and Nurgali, K. (2014) Anti-Colorectal Cancer Chemotherapy-Induced Diarrhoea: Current Treatments and Side-Effects. International Journal of Clinical Medicine, 5, 393-406. doi: 10.4236/ijcm.2014.57054.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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