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Open Access Research

Ganglioside-monosialic acid (GM1) prevents oxaliplatin-induced peripheral neurotoxicity in patients with gastrointestinal tumors

Yanyun Zhu, Junlan Yang, Shunchang Jiao* and Tiefeng Ji

Author Affiliations

Department of Medical Oncology, Chinese PLA General Hospital, 28 Fuxing Road, Haidian District, Beijing, 100853, People’s Republic of China

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World Journal of Surgical Oncology 2013, 11:19  doi:10.1186/1477-7819-11-19

Published: 25 January 2013



Oxaliplatin, an effective antineoplastic agent againstgastrointestinal tumors, can cause severe peripheral neurotoxicity, which seriously limits its clinical application. To date, there are no effective treatments for this complication. Ganglioside-monosialic acid (GM1) has been shown to protect neurons against injuries and degeneration. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of GM1 on preventing oxaliplatin-induced neurotoxicity in patients with gastrointestinal tumors.


In this study, 120 patients with gastrointestinal tumors were enrolled, andthey received the treatment of XELOX (oxaliplatin and capecitabine) and FOLFOX4 (oxaliplatin, leukovolin and 5-fluorouracil). The patients were randomly divided into two groups, the experimental group and control group, with60 patients ineach. On the day chemotherapy was initiated, the experimental group received GM1 intravenously (100 mg once daily) for 3 days, while no neuroprotective agents were applied in the control group. The incidence rates and classification of neurotoxicity in the two groups were evaluated and the differences between the two groups were examined. Furthermore, whether GM1 affected the therapeutic effects of chemotherapy was also examined.


The grade of neurotoxicity in the experimental group was significantly lower than in the control group (P<0.05, Mann–Whitney U test). The probability of occurrence of low-grade neurotoxicity (grade 0 and 1) in the experimental group was higher than that in the control group (logistic ordinal regression); whereas the probability of occurrence of high-grade neurotoxicity (grade 2 and 3) in the experimental group was lower than in the control group (logistic ordinal regression).


The data suggested that GM1 could reduce the grade of oxaliplatin-induced neurotoxicity and was an effective neuroprotective agent against oxaliplatin-induced high-grade neurotoxicity in patients with gastrointestinal tumors.

Gastrointestinal tumors; Ganglioside-monosialic acid; Oxaliplatin; Neurotoxicity