Methylphenidate in Treating Patients With Melanoma
RATIONALE: Methylphenidate may relieve some of the side effects of chemotherapy in patients with melanoma. It is not known whether receiving methylphenidate is more effective than receiving no further therapy in treating patients with melanoma.
PURPOSE: Randomized phase III trial to determine if methylphenidate is more effective than no further therapy for the relief of fatigue and drowsiness in treating patients with melanoma who have received high-dose interferon alfa for 8-24 weeks.
Unspecified Adult Solid Tumor, Protocol Specific
Drug: methylphenidate hydrochloride
Procedure: quality-of-life assessment
|Study Design:||Allocation: Randomized
Primary Purpose: Supportive Care
|Official Title:||Double-Blind Randomized Trial of Methylphenidate for Alleviation of Fatigue and Lethargy Associated With Interferon Alpha 2b|
|Study Start Date:||June 1999|
|Primary Completion Date:||May 2002 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)|
OBJECTIVES: I. Determine whether methylphenidate decreases fatigue and lethargy in cancer patients receiving interferon alfa. II. Determine whether the use of methylphenidate in this patient population decreases the number of dose reductions of interferon alfa due to toxicities other than myelosuppression or elevated liver function tests. III. Assess whether efficacy or toxicity of methylphenidate in this patient population is concentration dependent. IV. Compare the fatigue subscale and the proposed Brief Fatigue Inventory.
OUTLINE: This is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, two arm study. Patients are stratified according to initial fatigue level (high vs moderate), and treatment with tumor vaccine (yes vs no). Patients are randomized to one of two treatment arms. Arm I: Patients receive oral methylphenidate twice daily. Arm II: Patients receive oral placebo twice daily. Treatment is continued for 21 consecutive days with dose escalations as tolerated and as needed by patient judgement, followed by an additional week to evaluate the effect of drug withdrawal. Patients are contacted by telephone at least twice weekly during the 21 day treatment and 7 day washout phase to assess adverse or rebound effects. Before the study begins and at weekly clinic visits for the 4 week study period, patients complete a series of questionnaires to measure mood, levels of fatigue and lethargy, and sense of well being. Patients also keep a short daily diary of study medication doses and degree of tiredness. Patients are followed every 3 months for 2 years, then every 6 months for the next 3 years, and then annually thereafter.
PROJECTED ACCRUAL: A total of 200 patients will be accrued into this study within 39 months.