State of the science: Taxane-induced musculoskeletal pain

Lorie L. Davis, Janet Carpenter, Julie Otte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations


Background: Cancer survival rates are improving, but this increased survivorship is offset by persistent treatment-related symptoms. Taxane-induced musculoskeletal pain (TIMP) is 1 treatment-related symptom likely undermining cancer survivors' health-related quality of life. Objective: The specific aims of this review were to evaluate (1) the conceptual clarity of TIMP, (2) descriptions of the TIMP symptom experience, (3) contextual variables influencing TIMP, and (4) the impact of TIMP on selected outcomes. Methods: A systematic approach conducted in PubMed yielded 688 articles, and 12 articles included evaluable data related to TIMP. Results: On average, 2 to 4 terms signifying TIMP were used; among the terms arthralgia, myalgia, and bone pain, the range of TIMP prevalence estimates varied from 1.3% to 94%. Intensity was measured in all studies, most commonly (50% of studies) using the National Cancer Institute Common Toxicity Criteria. Contextual variables and the impact of TIMP on outcomes were addressed in only 17% and 42% of studies, respectively. Conclusions: Research to date has involved inconsistent use of terms signifying TIMP. Assessment of TIMP has been largely limited to intensity, with few studies evaluating contextual variables influencing TIMP or the impact of TIMP on outcomes. More comprehensive TIMP assessment is necessary in future research. Implications for Practice: In order to improve patient-reported outcomes in cancer care, control of treatment-related symptoms is essential. Further research about TIMP will address national priorities for generating new knowledge to advance symptom science and will be directly relevant to the care of cancer survivors undergoing taxane-based chemotherapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)187-196
Number of pages10
JournalCancer Nursing
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Cancer symptom Management
  • Chemotherapy
  • Health-related quality of Life
  • Musculoskeletal pain Survivorship

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Oncology(nursing)

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