Research News

Vitamin B3 relieves peripheral neuropathy in breast/ovarian cancer patients

March, 2017    |

Researchers from the University of Iowa have discovered that a novel form of viamin B3, known as NIAGEN® Nicotinamide Riboside (NR), may be effective in relieving chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) in cancer patients.

Published in the Journal of the International Association for the Study of Pain (PAIN), the study showed that NR ameliorates CIPN in an animal model.
Currently, the American Society for Clinical Oncology considers the development of adjunctive therapy for the prevention and relief of CIPN as essential for patient care. This study provides an important proof of concept for the use of NR as a novel therapeutic approach in filling the unmet need for treatments that alleviate CIPN.
Led by Dr. Donna Hammond, Ph.D., the research team at the University of Iowa demonstrated that treatment with NR increased blood levels of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) by 50 per cent after three weeks of daily administration. NR was able to prevent the development of tactile hypersensitivity induced by the chemotherapeutic paclitaxel and reverse well-established tactile hypersensitivity, while also blunting escape/avoidance behaviors. Furthermore, the prophylactic effect was sustained for at least two weeks after treatment with NR ceased.
Dr. Marta Hamity, Ph.D., the lead study author, indicated that the team embarked on the study based on evidence that suggested that increasing levels of NAD+ in the cells may protect against neuronal injury. The study used female Sprague-Dawley rats, clinically relevant doses of paclitaxel and incorporated measures that quantify the impact of CIPN on quality of life.
“This is significant because the pain associated with CIPN can increase as the [chemotherapy] dose escalates, and at times it reaches a point where the patient is no longer able to tolerate the effective doses,” explained Hammond. “The American Society of Clinical Oncology has issued a position paper that there is an unmet need for treatments that can alleviate CIPN. This study has provided positive data which is particularly exciting considering the unmet need for therapies in this area. We believe that further development of NR as a therapy for CIPN is warranted.” 
NIAGEN®, a product created by ChromaDex, is the only commercially available form of NR. For additional information about ChromaDex and NIAGEN®, visit