GSTM1 and GSTT1 polymorphisms associated with pain in a chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy cohort

Paul J Dunn, Lyn R Griffiths, Patsy Yates, Larisa M Haupt, Kim Alexander

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Chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) is a debilitating condition that is a direct consequence of receiving cancer treatment. The molecular aetiology of CIPN is not well understood, and it is theorised that there may be a genetic component. Genetic polymorphisms in Glutathione-S Transferase (GST) genes, including GSTT1, GSTM1 and GSTP1, encode for enzymes known to metabolise drugs used in chemotherapy, and have been theorised to be associated with CIPN. This study aimed to investigate four markers in these genes for an association in a mixed cancer cohort in relation to CIPN (n = 172). 


CIPN was measured using the neuropathy item from the Patient Reported Outcome Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Event (PRO-CTCAE) assessment. Genotyping for all samples was performed using PCR for the GSTM1 and GSTT1 null variants and restriction fragment length polymorphisms for the GSTP1 and GSTM1 polymorphisms. 


No associations were found for the GST gene markers in relation to CIPN within our study, or CIPN severity. Longitudinal stratification of the CIPN phenotypes to examine links for neuropathy, identified nominally significant protective associations with the GSTM* null allele (p-value = 0.038, OR = 0.55) and the presence of pain at month 2 of treatment, as well as a risk factor for pain related month 2 of treatment for individuals with the GSTT1*null allele (p-value = 0.030, OR = 1.64). Higher severity of pain in patients with CIPN persisted at each time-point compared to those without CIPN. 


No significant results for an association between CIPN with polymorphisms in GSTM1, GSTT1 and GSTP1 were identified. However, associations for the GSTM1¬-null and GSTT1-null polymorphisms with pain at month 2 following chemotherapy were identified.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalZeitschrift fur Krebsforschung und Klinische Onkologie
Early online date20 Mar 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Mar 2023


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