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Effectiveness of Ketamine in Malignant Neuropathic Pain Relief (KETA-1)

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT01951911
Recruitment Status : Withdrawn (Poor patient recruitment. Vast majority of the patients have exclusions criteria)
First Posted : September 27, 2013
Last Update Posted : July 11, 2017
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Haukeland University Hospital

Brief Summary:
To see whether the addition of low-dose ketamine to a subcutaneous morphine infusion improves analgesia in patients with neuropathic cancer pain.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Pain, Intractable Drug: Ketamine Drug: Placebo Phase 3

Detailed Description:

Patients with cancer pain judged to have a neuropathic component and receiving pain treatment with a subcutaneous infusion of morphine will be included in a randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study. All patients will be recruited from hospital wards (Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen). In the case of patient withdrawal or dropout, new patients will be recruited so that the total number of patients completing the study will be 20. Data from patients not completing the study will solely be used to provide information about adverse effects.

The basic treatment with subcutaneous morphine infusion will be supplemented with a separate subcutaneous infusion of ketamine 1 mg/kg/ 24 hours or NaCl 9 mg/ml (placebo).

After 48 hours (phase 1) there will be a "wash-out" period of minimum 10 hours to minimize carryover effects before the treatment is replaced by the alternative treatment for a further 48 hours (phase 2) in a standard crossover design. The treatment duration is based on ketamine's short plasma half-life which is less than 2 hours after initial equilibration.

Pain intensity (using NRS) will be recorded at rest and on movement x 4 daily. Rescue medication in the form of morphine subcutaneous bolus may be given to the patient as required. There will be a" lockout" time of 1 hour which means that the rescue dose of morphine can be repeated every 60 minutes if necessary, providing the patient is awake and has a respiratory rate of 8 or more per minute.Randomization will be performed by Haukeland University Hospital Pharmacy. The study drug/ placebo will also be prepared by the hospital pharmacy according to a standard instruction.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 0 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Crossover Assignment
Masking: Quadruple (Participant, Care Provider, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Low-dose Ketamine as Adjuvant Treatment to Morphine in Neuropathic Cancer Pain
Actual Study Start Date : September 2013
Actual Primary Completion Date : October 2016
Actual Study Completion Date : October 2016

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

Drug Information available for: Ketamine

Arm Intervention/treatment
Active Comparator: Ketamine
Ketamine 1 mg per kg per 24 hours as subcutaneous infusion via syringe driver for 48 hours.
Drug: Ketamine
Patients will receive either ketamine as subcutaneous infusion or placebo as subcutaneous infusion. The results will be compared with each other.
Other Name: Ketalar

Placebo Comparator: Placebo
Sodium chloride 0.9% administered as a subcutaneous infusion via syringe driver for 48 hours.
Drug: Placebo
Other Name: Sodium chloride 0.9%

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Change in pain intensity compared to baseline. [ Time Frame: 5 days ]
    Significant reduction in cancer pain intensity will be defined as at least 30% reduction in Numeric Rating Scale (NRS) score compared to baseline.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 70 Years   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

Age 18-70 years. In-patient. Cancer pain judged to have a neuropathic component. Clinically normal renal and hepatic function. Able to cooperate and understand information. Worst pain at rest or on movement 5 or more (NRS 0-10). Pain currently treated with continuous subcutaneous morphine infusion. The daily morphine dose is 48mg or more per 24 hours and a 30% increase in the daily dose has not provided sufficient pain relief.

Not treated with ketamine during the last 48 hours prior to inclusion.


Exclusion Criteria:

Reduced renal or hepatic function. Suspicion of morphine toxicity (sedation, hallucination, myoclonus, increasing pain).

Increased intracranial pressure (suspicion of cerebral metastases) or cerebral metastases.

Unable to cooperate/ understand information. Worst pain at rest or on movement less than 5 on NRS. Current treatment with other opioids than morphine. The patient is undergoing radiotherapy in the pain area, or has received radiotherapy in the pain area within the last four weeks.

Changes in the use of analgesics (paracetamol, NSAIDS), adjuvant drugs (antidepressants, antiepileptic, corticosteroids, muscle relaxants) or their dosages less than 2 days prior to inclusion or during the study period.

Pregnant and lactating women. Any situation in which an increase in blood pressure would constitute a hazard. Acute intermittent porphyria. Psychiatric illness, epilepsy, alcoholism, glaucoma. Hypersensitivity to any of the drugs ingredients. Current treatment with ketamine.


Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT01951911

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Haukeland University Hospital
Bergen, Hordaland, Norway, 5021
Sponsors and Collaborators
Haukeland University Hospital
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Principal Investigator: Rae F Bell, M.D. PhD. Pain Clinic, Haukeland University Hospital, 5021 Bergen, Norway


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Responsible Party: Haukeland University Hospital Identifier: NCT01951911    
Other Study ID Numbers: 2012/539
First Posted: September 27, 2013    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: July 11, 2017
Last Verified: July 2017
Individual Participant Data (IPD) Sharing Statement:
Plan to Share IPD: No
Keywords provided by Haukeland University Hospital:
Pain Management
Palliative care
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Pain, Intractable
Neurologic Manifestations
Signs and Symptoms
Sensory System Agents
Peripheral Nervous System Agents
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Anesthetics, Dissociative
Anesthetics, Intravenous
Anesthetics, General
Central Nervous System Depressants
Excitatory Amino Acid Antagonists
Excitatory Amino Acid Agents
Neurotransmitter Agents
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action