Platinum-based chemotherapy: Gastrointestinal immunomodulation and enteric nervous system toxicity

Vanesa Stojanovska, Samy Sakkal, Kulmira Nurgali

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


The efficacy of chemotherapeutic treatment of colorectal cancer is challenged by severe gastrointestinal side effects, which include nausea, vomiting, constipation, and diarrhea. These symptoms can persist long after the treatment has been ceased. An emerging concept is the ability of platinum-based drugs to stimulate immunity, which is in contrast to conventional chemotherapeutic agents that are immunosuppressive. Here, we review the immu-nomodulatory aspects of platinum-based anticancer chemotherapeutics and their impact on gastrointestinal innervation. Given the bidirectional communication between the enteric nervous system and gastrointestinal immune system; exploring the consequences of platinum-induced immunogenicity will facilitate better understanding of gut dysfunction caused by chemotherapeutic agents. We propose that the development of future successful chemotherapeutics should rely on targeting the mechanisms underlying long-term gastrointestinal side effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)G223-G232
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Chemotherapy
  • Enteric nervous system
  • Gastrointestinal side effects
  • Immune response
  • Neuroimmune interactions
  • Platinum

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