Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Testing methylphenidate for cancer-related fatigue

Date:
June 3, 2010
Source:
Mayo Clinic
Summary:
Cancer-related fatigue is often a major problem for cancer patients, beginning at diagnosis, during treatment and after completing therapy.

Cancer-related fatigue is often a major problem for cancer patients, beginning at diagnosis, during treatment and after completing therapy. Researchers at Mayo Clinic and the North Central Cancer Treatment Group (NCCTG) recently completed a study testing methylphenidate in the treatment of cancer-related fatigue and found that, while it did not improve fatigue for a broad group of patients, the data did not rule out a benefit for those with stage III/IV cancer.

Results of this NCCTG study, N05C7, will be presented on June 6, 2010, at the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting in Chicago.

"Cancer-related fatigue can impact a patient's ability to tolerate therapy and their overall quality of life," says Debra Barton, R.N., Ph.D., associate professor of oncology at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and an investigator for the study. "While our study did not demonstrate improvement in fatigue for a broad patient population, our results do not rule out some benefit for patients with advanced cancer and point to the need for further research."

The study included 148 adult patients with cancer-related fatigue. Of these, 74 were randomized to receive long-acting methylphenidate and 74 were randomized to receive a placebo over a four-week period. Patients taking methylphenidate were titrated from 1 to 3 tablets in order to reach the target dose of 54 mg per day. To be part of the study, patients had to report fatigue that was defined as a score of greater than or equal to 4 on an 11-point Brief Fatigue Inventory (BFI) scale.

Methylphenidate is one of a group of psychostimulants that "wake up" or stimulate the central nervous system in the brain, producing chemicals such as dopamine and norepinephrine, which cause a person to be alert. In this study, a long-acting dose was selected to deliver a constant level of medication in the bloodstream throughout the day.

In the study, all participants rated their usual fatigue on the BFI every week for four weeks. Fatigue was rated on a scale of 0 to 10, with 0 being no fatigue and 10 being severe fatigue.

Results indicated no significant difference between the methylphenidate and placebo groups for usual fatigue over the four-week period. "In patients with stage III/IV disease, however, there appeared to be a difference in the fatigue score between the two arms," says Dr. Barton. "In addition, there was a trend for patients receiving methylphenidate to be more satisfied with their treatment compared to those on the placebo arm. Caution should be used in interpreting these results, as this was an exploratory analysis and should only be used to generate hypotheses for future research," Dr. Barton says.

As far as side effects, Dr. Barton adds, "Anxiety and appetite loss were more prominent in patients on the treatment arm. There was no significant difference in the incidence of other potential side effects such as insomnia and dizziness between the two groups, but side effects, in general, were more often observed in the patients receiving the active drug."

"When considering using methylphenidate in the treatment of cancer-related fatigue, patients and their physicians need to consider the benefits and side effects of the medication," says Dr. Barton.

According to Dr. Barton, "Currently, we are developing a new study to test a newer psychostimulant medication for cancer-related fatigue in patients with advanced cancer. Hopefully, it will be more effective and less toxic."

Other study investigators include Amanda Moraska, Amit Sood, M.D., Jeff Sloan, Ph.D., and Charles Loprinzi, M.D., all of Mayo Clinic; Jason Suh, M.D., Joliet Oncology-Hematology Associates, Ltd., Joliet, Ill.; Patricia Griffin, M.D., SRHS Update Carolina Community Clinical Oncology Program, Spartanburg, S.C.; David Johnson, M.D., Wichita CCOP, Wichita, Kan.; Aneela Ali, M.D., Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, Pa.; and Peter Silberstein, M.D., Missouri Valley Cancer Consortium, Omaha, Neb.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Mayo Clinic. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Mayo Clinic. "Testing methylphenidate for cancer-related fatigue." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 June 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100602121103.htm>.
Mayo Clinic. (2010, June 3). Testing methylphenidate for cancer-related fatigue. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100602121103.htm
Mayo Clinic. "Testing methylphenidate for cancer-related fatigue." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100602121103.htm (accessed September 19, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, September 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How The 'Angelina Jolie Effect' Increased Cancer Screenings

How The 'Angelina Jolie Effect' Increased Cancer Screenings

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) Angelina's Jolie's decision to undergo a preventative mastectomy in 2013 inspired many women to seek early screenings for the disease. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Cost of Ebola

The Cost of Ebola

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 18, 2014) As Sierra Leone prepares for a three-day "lockdown" in its latest bid to stem the spread of Ebola, Ciara Lee looks at the financial implications of fighting the largest ever outbreak of the disease. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins