Spinal Cord Stimulation Increases Chemoefficacy and Prevents Paclitaxel-Induced Pain via CX3CL1

Eellan Sivanesan, Karla R. Sanchez, Chi Zhang, Shao Qiu He, Bengt Linderoth, Kimberly E. Stephens, Srinivasa N. Raja, Yun Guan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Despite increasing utilization of spinal cord stimulation (SCS), its effects on chemoefficacy, cancer progression, and chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) pain remain unclear. Up to 30% of adults who are cancer survivors may suffer from CIPN, and there are currently no effective preventative treatments. Materials and Methods: Through a combination of bioluminescent imaging, behavioral, biochemical, and immunohistochemical approaches, we investigated the role of SCS and paclitaxel (PTX) on tumor growth and PTX-induced peripheral neuropathy (PIPN) pain development in T-cell–deficient male rats (Crl:NIH-Foxn1rnu) with xenograft human non–small cell lung cancer. We hypothesized that SCS can prevent CIPN pain and enhance chemoefficacy partially by modulating macrophages, fractalkine (CX3CL1), and inflammatory cytokines. Results: We show that preemptive SCS enhanced the antitumor efficacy of PTX and prevented PIPN pain. Without SCS, rats with and without tumors developed robust PIPN pain-related mechanical hypersensitivity, but only those with tumors developed cold hypersensitivity, suggesting T-cell dependence for different PIPN pain modalities. SCS increased soluble CX3CL1 and macrophages and decreased neuronal and nonneuronal insoluble CX3CL1 expression and inflammation in dorsal root ganglia. Conclusion: Collectively, our findings suggest that preemptive SCS is a promising strategy to increase chemoefficacy and prevent PIPN pain via CX3CL1-macrophage modulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)938-949
Number of pages12
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 2023


  • Chemotherapy
  • chronic pain
  • non–small cell lung cancer
  • peripheral neuropathies
  • spinal cord stimulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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