Overview

This trial is active, not recruiting.

Conditions advanced cancer, fatigue
Treatments methylphenidate, nursing telephone intervention, placebo
Sponsor M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
Start date January 2007
End date December 2012
Trial size 212 participants
Trial identifier NCT00424099, 2005-0613

Summary

The goal of this clinical research study is to learn if methylphenidate (Ritalin) can help to control fatigue caused by cancer. Its effect on other symptoms such as drowsiness, depression, sleeplessness, physical activity, and anxiety will also be studied. Another goal of this study is to learn if receiving a phone call by a nurse improves fatigue in patients.

United States No locations recruiting
Other Countries No locations recruiting

Study Design

Allocation randomized
Endpoint classification efficacy study
Intervention model parallel assignment
Masking double blind (subject, investigator, outcomes assessor)
Primary purpose supportive care
Arm
(Experimental)
Methylphenidate + Nursing Telephone Intervention
methylphenidate Ritalin
5 mg (one capsule) orally every two hours as needed up to a maximum of 20 mg per day for a period of 14 days.
nursing telephone intervention NTI
Call from study nurse 3 times weekly to ask about side effects and other symptoms.
(Placebo Comparator)
Placebo + Nursing Telephone Intervention
nursing telephone intervention NTI
Call from study nurse 3 times weekly to ask about side effects and other symptoms.
placebo
One capsule, orally every two hours as needed up to a maximum of 4 capsules per day for a period of 14 days.
(Experimental)
Methylphenidate
methylphenidate Ritalin
5 mg (one capsule) orally every two hours as needed up to a maximum of 20 mg per day for a period of 14 days.
(Experimental)
Placebo
placebo
One capsule, orally every two hours as needed up to a maximum of 4 capsules per day for a period of 14 days.

Primary Outcomes

Measure
Difference between Patient FACIT-F Fatigue Sub Score Baseline and 15 Days Later
time frame: 15 days after Baseline

Eligibility Criteria

Male or female participants at least 18 years old.

Inclusion Criteria: 1. Patients will be eligible to participate in this study if they have advanced cancer. 2. Patients will be eligible to participate in this study if they rate fatigue on the ESAS during the last 24 hours as greater than or equal to 4 on a 0-10 scale, in which 0= no fatigue and 10=worst possible fatigue 3. Describe fatigue as being present every day for most of day for a minimum of 2 weeks 4. Lack clinical evidence of cognitive failure, with normal Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE). A score of 24 is considered normal 5. Are 18 years or older 6. Are willing to keep a daily diary, engage in telephone follow up with a nurse every other day, and return for follow-up visit after 14 days of treatment 7. Have telephone access to be contacted by the research nurse. If patient is relocating within 5 weeks, patient will be asked to provide a new telephone number 8. Hemoglobin of greater than or equal to 8 g/dl within 2 weeks of enrollment. If the patient has not had blood drawn for a hemoglobin level in the past 2 weeks, one will be done to determine the eligibility. Patients with a hemoglobin of less than 8 will be referred for treatment of their anemia 9. Able to understand the description of the study and give written informed consent. 10. Able to understand the description of assessments, and able to complete baseline assessment 11. Patients on no erythropoietin or stable dose. Exclusion Criteria: 1. Major contraindication to methylphenidate i.e. hypersensitivity, anxiety, tension, agitation, or motor tics, glaucoma, severe angina pectoris, or hypertension, etc. 2. Currently on methylphenidate or has been on methylphenidate within the last 10 days. 3. Inability to complete the baseline assessment forms or do understand the recommendations for participation in the study 4. Major depression according to the SCID DSM IV diagnostic criteria. These patients wil be referred immediately to psychiatry for assessment and management 5. Pregnant or lactating women 6. Requirement for MAO inhibitors, tricyclic antidepressants or clonidine 7. Glaucoma, history of marked anxiety disorders 8. History of alcohol (CAGE questionnaire score for the last 2 years is 2 or above on a 0 to 4 scale) or substance abuse including illegal drugs and/or medications. 9. Tourette's syndrome 10. Symptomatic tachycardia and uncontrolled hypertension. 11. Currently receiving oral anticoagulants (Coumadin/warfarin), anticonvulsants (Phenobarbital, diphenylhydantoin, primidone), phenylbutazone, and tricyclic drugs (imipramine, clomipramine, desipramine). 12. Patients with pacemakers 13. Patients with symptomatic cardiac arrhythmias

Additional Information

Official title A Randomized Controlled Trial of Methylphenidate and a Nursing Telephone Intervention (NTI) for Fatigue in Advanced Cancer Patients
Principal investigator Eduardo Bruera, MD
Description Fatigue is one of the most common problems in patients with advanced cancer. Currently, there are no treatments for managing fatigue. Methylphenidate is a stimulant that increases ability to pay attention, increases mental alertness, and decreases feelings of fatigue. If you are found to be eligible to take part in this study, you will be randomly assigned (as in the roll of dice) to one of 4 groups. You will have an equal chance of being placed in any of the 4 groups. You, the medical staff, and researchers will not know to which group you have been assigned. Regardless of which group you are in, you will record your fatigue in a daily diary at breakfast, lunch, dinner, and before bedtime. Based on your level of fatigue, you will take the study drug as needed. You can take the study drug every 2 hours but you may not take more than 4 capsules a day. Participants in Group 1 will take a methylphenidate capsule by mouth as needed to relieve symptoms of fatigue for 14 days. A nurse will call you 4-6 times in the first two weeks to ask about side effects and other symptoms. The phone calls should take about 10-20 minutes. The study nurse will set up a convenient time for you to take the phone call. Participants in Group 2 will take a placebo capsule by mouth as needed for 14 days. A placebo is a capsule that does not contain any medication but looks just like the methylphenidate. A nurse will call you 4-6 times in the first two weeks to ask about side effects and other symptoms. The phone calls should take about 10-20 minutes. The study nurse will set up a convenient time for you to take the phone call. Participants in Group 3 will take a methylphenidate capsule by mouth as needed for 14 days. Participants in this group will not receive any calls from a study nurse. However, A research staff member will call you 4-6 times in the first two weeks to ask about side effects and other symptoms. The phone calls should take about 10-20 minutes. The research staff member will set up a convenient time for you to take the phone call. Participants in Group 4 will take a placebo capsule by mouth as needed for 14 days. Participants in this group will not receive any calls from a study nurse. However, A research staff member will call you 4-6 times in the first two weeks to ask about side effects and other symptoms. The phone calls should take about 10-20 minutes. The research staff member will set up a convenient time for you to take the phone call. You will be asked to wear a wrist actigraph monitor (a wristwatch that keeps track of your physical activity and your sleep cycles) for the first 14 days. You will keep a daily diary of your fatigue and other symptoms, the number and times pills are taken, and your fatigue rating before and 2 hours after taking methylphenidate. On about day 15 (or within 3 days) you will return to the palliative care clinic at M. D. Anderson for tests. You will be asked about your level of drowsiness, pain, constipation, and fatigue. You will be asked about any side effects you may have experienced and the effectiveness of the drug. You will repeat the 6 minute physical test, the cognitive status test, and you will return the actigraph monitor to the research nurse. You will also be given the option to receive up to 4 capsules of methylphenidate per day until Day 36. You will not be told whether you were taking placebo or methylphenidate during Days 1-14. If you cannot come to the clinic on Day 15, all tests except the walking test, may be performed over the telephone. You will be asked to mail the actigraph back. If you decide not to take methylphenidate on Days 15-36, you will be considered off-study and you will have end-of-study tests on Day 15. If you decide to take methylphenidate on Days 15-36, you will remain on study until Day 36. On Day 36, you will have end-of-study tests. For end-of-study tests, you will repeat the physical and cognitive tests. You will be asked about your symptoms and any side effects you may be experiencing. You will then return to your primary physician who will discuss with you whether or not to continue on the methylphenidate based on your response to the drug. Your participation in this study should end on either Day 15 or Day 36. However, if you develop intolerable side effects (including fatigue) while on this study, the medication will be stopped and you will be removed from the study. This is an investigational study. Methylphenidate has been approved by the FDA and is a commercially available drug. It is FDA approved at this dose level. Its use in this study, for this purpose, is investigational. About 212 patients will take part in this multicenter study. About 142 patients will be enrolled at M. D. Anderson.
Trial information was received from ClinicalTrials.gov and was last updated in December 2011.
Information provided to ClinicalTrials.gov by M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.