The treatment of malignant tumors has considerably improved in recent years, and also the number of “long term cancer survivors” is increasing.
The spectrum of anti-tumoral agents is increasing at a fast pace and in addition to conventional therapies such as surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy, new drugs with entirely new mechanisms are appearing. Side effects of old and new drugs can affect the central and peripheral nervous system, the neuromuscular junction, and muscle. These side effects often have to be distinguished from other causes and need neurological expertise. Although the majority of patients still receive conventional therapies, several new strategies such as immune therapies are being implemented. These drugs have also drug specific side effects, which do not always follow the classical principles of “toxicity.”
This review focuses on the well-known and described side effects of conventional cancer therapies and adds new observations on new drugs.