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 immunomodulatory aspects of platinum-based anti-cancer chemotherapeutics and their impact on gastrointestinal innervation. Given the bi-directional 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.
- Platinum chemotherapy
- immune response
- gastrointestinal side-effects
- enteric nervous system
- neuro-immune interactions
- Copyright © 2014, American Journal of Physiology- Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology