Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Antidepressant helps relieve pain from chemotherapy, study finds

04.06.2012
Duloxetine reduced painful neuropathy in majority of patients

The antidepressant drug duloxetine, known commercially as Cymbalta, helped relieve painful tingling feelings caused by chemotherapy in 59 percent of patients, a new study finds. This is the first clinical trial to find an effective treatment for this pain.

Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy is a common side effect of certain chemotherapy drugs. The tingling feeling -- usually felt in the toes, feet, fingers and hands -- can be uncomfortable for many patients, but for about 30 percent of patients, it's a painful sensation. Previous studies have found no reliable way to treat this type of pain.

In the current study, which will be presented Tuesday at the American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting, researchers looked at 231 patients who reported painful neuropathy after receiving the chemotherapy drugs oxaliplatin or paclitaxel. Patients were randomly assigned to receive duloxetine or a placebo for five weeks. They were asked to report on their pain levels weekly throughout the study.

The researchers found that 59 percent of patients who received duloxetine reported reduced pain, while only 39 percent of those taking placebo did.

"These drugs don't work in everyone. The good news is it worked in the majority of patients. We need to figure out who are the responders. If we can predict who they are, we can target the treatment to the people it's going to work for," said lead study author Ellen M. Lavoie Smith, Ph.D., APRN, AOCN, assistant professor at the University of Michigan School of Nursing and a researcher at the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Duloxetine has previously been shown to help relieve painful diabetic neuropathy. This type of antidepressant is believed to work on pain by increasing neurotransmitters that interrupt pain signals to the brain.

In this study, participants received a half dose of duloxetine – 30 milligrams a day - the first week before ramping up to a full dose of 60 mg daily for four more weeks. Few severe side effects were reported with this approach. The most common side effect was fatigue.

Treating painful peripheral neuropathy is critical because the condition can lead doctors to limit the patient's chemotherapy dose if the pain becomes too severe.

"In addition to improving symptoms and quality of life, treating peripheral neuropathy pain potentially improves quantity of life if it helps patients avoid decreasing their chemotherapy medications," Smith says.

Often, Smith adds, patients avoid telling their doctors about pain because they do not want their chemotherapy dose decreased.

"Patients make this trade-off sometimes: They don't want to give up the chemotherapy and decide they'd rather have this pain. That's a terrible trade off to make," Smith says.

The researchers' next steps are to determine which patients are most likely to benefit from duloxetine.

Additional authors: Herbert Pang, Ph.D.; Constance Cirrincione, M.S.; Stewart Fleishman, M.D.; Electra D. Paskett, Ph.D.; Tim Ahles, Ph.D.; Camilo Fadul, M.D.; Chetaye Knox; Charles L. Shapiro, M.D.

Funding: National Institutes of Health's National Cancer Institute; drugs and placebo provided by Lilly Pharmaceuticals

Disclosure: None

Reference: "CRA9013: CALGB 170601: A phase III double blind trial of duloxetine to treat painful chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN)," Smith et al. American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting, June 1-5, 2012

Resources:
U-M Cancer AnswerLine, 800-865-1125
U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center, www.mcancer.org
U-M School of Nursing, www.nursing.umich.edu
Clinical trials at U-M, www.UMClinicalStudies.org/cancer
For more information, contact:
Nicole Fawcett, nfawcett@umich.edu, 734-764-2220
Heidi Watson, watsonh@umich.edu, 734-615-7125

Nicole Fawcett | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.umich.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Amputees can learn to control a robotic arm with their minds
28.11.2017 | University of Chicago Medical Center

nachricht The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change
17.11.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Plasmonic biosensors enable development of new easy-to-use health tests

14.12.2017 | Health and Medicine

New type of smart windows use liquid to switch from clear to reflective

14.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

BigH1 -- The key histone for male fertility

14.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>