Vincristine-induced peripheral neuropathy (VIPN) is difficult to quantify in children.
The study objective was to examine the reliability, validity, and clinical feasibility of several VIPN measures for use in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Children (n = 65) aged 1 to 18 years receiving vincristine at 4 academic centers participated in the study. Baseline and pre–vincristine administration VIPN assessments were obtained using the Total Neuropathy Score–Pediatric Vincristine (TNS©-PV), the National Cancer Institute Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events, the Balis grading scale, and the FACES Pain Scale. The TNS-PV scores (n = 806) were obtained over 15 weeks. Blood was obtained at several time points to quantify pharmacokinetic parameters.
Cronbach’s α for a reduced TNS-PV scale was .84. The TNS-PV scores correlated with cumulative vincristine dosage (r = 0.53, P = 0.01), pharmacokinetic parameters (r = 0.41, P = 0.05), and grading scale scores (r range = 0.46–0.52, P = .01). FACES scores correlated with the TNS-PV neuropathic pain item (r = 0.48; P = .01) and were attainable in all ages. A 2-item V-Rex score (vibration and reflex items) was the most responsive to change (effect size = 0.65, P < 0.001). The TNS-PV scores were attainable in 95% of children 6 years or older.
The TNS-PV is reliable and valid for measuring VIPN. It is sensitive to change over time (15 weeks) and feasible for use in children 6 years or older.
Implications for Practice:
The TNS-PV may be a useful tool for assessing vincristine toxicity in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.