Acupuncture For Pancreatic Cancer Pain
Pain is a common problem in patients with pancreatic cancer. Some patients suffer from pain despite medication. We, the researchers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, are conducting a Phase III study to determine the effects of acupuncture on pain in patients with pancreatic cancer. The purpose of a Phase III study is to determine whether or not a treatment is helpful. This study will include about 60 patients.
Acupuncture is the insertion of very fine needles into the skin to treat symptoms. In recent years, researchers have found evidence that acupuncture is useful in treating a variety of conditions, including headache, nausea, and pain.
|Study Design:||Allocation: Randomized
Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Single Blind
Primary Purpose: Treatment
|Official Title:||Acupuncture For Pancreatic Cancer Pain: A Randomized Phase III Study|
- To determine whether acupuncture reduces pain in pancreatic cancer patients more effectively than placebo
- To determine the duration of acupuncture effects
|Study Start Date:||September 2003|
|Estimated Study Completion Date:||September 2005|
The main aim of this pancreatic cancer pain trial is to determine the effects of a single, practitioner-given acupuncture treatment followed by semi-permanent acupuncture studs. Our primary endpoint is subjective; therefore, a placebo control will be applied with patients blinded to treatment allocation.
In clinical practice, acupuncturists individualize treatment: two patients with a similar conventional diagnosis may receive different point prescriptions depending on the acupuncture differential diagnosis. Randomized trials of acupuncture can either prescribe a fixed treatment formula in terms of the number of sessions and points to be used, or allow practitioners to exercise clinical judgment in individualizing care. There has been considerable debate in the methodological literature about the merits of each approach. The use of a fixed treatment schedule increases the reproducibility of the findings but is said, by practitioners, to generally reduce treatment effectiveness. In this trial, we have developed an approach that allows practitioners to individualize treatments in a manner that allows exact replication, by specifying particular point locations to be used depending on the sites where a patient experiences pain. Point locations for this and for all of our acupuncture studies are determined by our licensed, credentialled acupuncturists.
Following accrual of the initial 10-15 patients, we will review treatment compliance, blinding and accrual. Adjustments will be made to deal with compliance issues, to facilitate placebo blinding, or deal with recruitment problems for the remainder of the study.
|United States, New York|
|Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center|
|New York, New York, United States, 10021|
|Principal Investigator:||Barrie R. Cassileth, Ph.D.||Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center|