Researchers from the North Central Cancer Treatment Group presented a study at the 44th meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (American Society of Clinical Oncology abstract number: 4009) that indicated calcium and magnesium may reduce side effects from the chemotherapy drug oxaliplatin. A group of 102 patients with colon cancer were divided into two groups. One group of 50 patients received an intravenous solution containing calcium and magnesium prior to chemotherapy treatment. The other 52 subjects received a placebo.

One of the side effects of treatment with oxaliplatin is neurotoxicity. It creates pain in the extremities that can be severe. The researchers found that the subjects receiving the calcium and magnesium had a significant reduction in the length of duration and the severity of neurotoxicity.