Psilocybin-Assisted Psychotherapy for Anxiety in People With Stage IV Melanoma

This study has suspended participant recruitment.
(The study was suspended because the PI was unable to get permission from his department to submit the protocol to the local IRB?")
Sponsor:
Information provided by:
Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier:
NCT00979693
First received: September 16, 2009
Last updated: April 1, 2011
Last verified: March 2011
  Purpose

This study is to find out about whether two sessions of psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy are safe and will help people who are anxious as a result of having stage IV melanoma and will involve two sessions of psychotherapy combined with either 4 or 25 mg psilocybin. The study will measure anxiety, depression, quality of life and spirituality before and after psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy, natural killer cells (a type of immune cell) will be counted from blood samples taken the day after psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy, and people will keep daily diaries reporting on how anxious they feel for each day in the study.


Condition Intervention Phase
Anxiety
Malignant Melanoma of Skin Stage IV
Drug: psilocybin
Phase 2

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Endpoint Classification: Safety/Efficacy Study
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Caregiver, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Psilocybin-assisted Psychotherapy in the Management of Anxiety Associated With Stage IV Melanoma.

Resource links provided by NLM:


Further study details as provided by Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale [ Time Frame: Baseline, 1st non-drug intro psychotherapy, day of psilocybin-assited psychotherapy, non-drug psychotherapy between experimental sessions, day of psilocybin-assisted session 2, two weeks after second psilocybin-assisted session ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Spielberger-State-Trait Inventory (STAI) [ Time Frame: Baseline, 1st intro psychotherapy, day of experimental session 1, non-drug psychotherapy between experimental sessions, day of experimental session 2, two weeks after experimental session 2 ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
  • Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale [ Time Frame: Baseline, non-drug psychotherapy between sessions, two weeks after second experimental session ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
  • Natural killer (NK) cell count [ Time Frame: Day after experimental session 1, day after experimental session 2 ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
  • European Organization For Research and Treatment of Cancer; Quality of Life Questionnaire-C15 [ Time Frame: Baseline, 1st intro psychotherapy, day of experimental session 1, non-drug psychotherapy between experimental sessions, day of experimental session 2, two weeks post second experimental session ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
  • Hamilton Depression Rating Scale [ Time Frame: Baseline, non-drug psychotherapy in between experimental sessions, two weeks after second experimental session ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
  • Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-spirituality [ Time Frame: Baseline, first intro psychotherapy sesison, day of experimental session 1, non-drug psychotherapy between experimental sessions, day of experimental session 2, two weeks after second experimental session ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]

Estimated Enrollment: 9
Study Start Date: January 2012
Estimated Study Completion Date: June 2013
Estimated Primary Completion Date: April 2013 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: Full Dose
Participant will receive 25 mg psilocybin during two day-long sessions of psychotherapy in combination with psilocybin, with each session scheduled seven to 14 days apart.
Drug: psilocybin
25 mg psilocybin administered orally once during each of the two day-long psychotherapy sessions.
Active Comparator: Active Placebo
The participant will receive 4 mg psilocybin during two day-long sessions of psychotherapy in combination with psilocybin, with sessions scheduled seven to 14 days apart.
Drug: psilocybin
4 mg psilocybin orally administered once during each of two day-long psychotherapy session

Detailed Description:

Melanoma is a cancer arising from pigment-producing cells, or melanocytes. These cells are chiefly located in the skin, but they can also be found in other parts of the body, including eyes, ears and GI tract. A diagnosis of stage IV melanoma can create great stress and anxiety for an individual and his or her caregivers. Psilocybin (4-phosphoryloxy- N,N-dimethyl-tryptamine) is a psychedelic (hallucinogenic) compound found in certain species of mushrooms that can produce spiritual or mystical experiences and that has been used in psychotherapy prior to being made illegal. This study will be a randomized, active-placebo controlled pilot study of the safety and efficacy of psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy as a means of managing anxiety in association with stage IV melanoma. This study will examine whether two sessions of psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy scheduled seen to 14 days apart will reduce anxiety, improve quality of life and be safe in people with stage IV melanoma.

Subjects in this study will have a 66% chance of receiving the full dose of 25 mg psilocybin and a 33% of receiving 4 mg psilocybin. The first dose is expected to change how people feel, think and see the world, while the lower dose is expected to have only slight effects. Each subject will receive these conditions at random, as if by coin-toss. The researchers, including the therapists, and the subject will not know whether they are assigned to get 25 or 4 mg psilocybin.

The entire study can last up to three and a half months (14 weeks) but the main part of the study lasts six weeks. After the researchers determine that a person with stage IV melanoma and anxiety can be in the study, there will be two introductory psychotherapy sessions with the therapist-investigators. They will prepare the participant for psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy. The subject will have a day-long psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy session after introductory sessions, and he or she will remain overnight at the clinic. There will be a psychotherapy follow-up scheduled the day after each psilocybin-assisted session to help people work with the psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy, and there will be a psychotherapy session in between the first and second psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy sessions. Two weeks after the second psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy session, subjects will return for another follow-up visit. The subjects will answer questions or fill out questionnaires about anxiety, depression, quality of life, spirituality and sense of self at the start of the study, two weeks after the second psilocybin-assisted session and at least once during the study. Subjects will have blood draws to assess liver function before each psilocybin-assisted session and they will have a blood draw to assess natural killer (NK) cells the day after each psilocybin-assisted session. On the day after each psilocybin-assisted session, subjects will also complete a questionnaire about their experiences during the psilocybin-assisted session.

Two weeks after the second experimental psilocybin-assisted session, subjects will learn if they got the full or active placebo dose of psilocybin. Any of the three subjects who receive the active placebo dose can take part in an "open-label" study phase that will last another six weeks. The open-label phase will be nearly identical to those used in the first study phase except that there will be one, and not two, introductory psychotherapy sessions, and the subject and therapists will know that the subject will be receiving 25 mg psilocybin. People who got the full dose of 25 mg psilocybin will not take part in the open-label study phase.

If they are well enough to do so, subjects who received the full dose of psilocybin will have anxiety, depression, quality of life and spirituality measured again two months after the second experimental session. Subjects who received active placebo psilocybin will have anxiety, depression, quality of life and spirituality measured two months after the second open-label psilocybin-assisted session.

  Eligibility

Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older
Genders Eligible for Study:   Both
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No
Criteria

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Have been diagnosed with Stage IV melanoma with a life expectancy of one year or less
  • Meet diagnostic criteria for anxiety on the SCID, or a score of 8 or higher on the HADS Anxiety score.
  • Diagnosis must be a new diagnosis of anxiety subsequent to diagnosis with melanoma.
  • Are 18 years or older
  • Live with another adult who is their primary caregiver, who can also provide transportation to and from the cancer center for each experimental session and who also consents to take part in a parallel investigation of anxiety and depression in primary caregivers. The same caregiver may remain overnight with participants after each psilocybin session.
  • Have a Mini-Mental State Exam score of 27 or higher, an indication of mental functioning.
  • Are willing to commit to medication dosing, experimental sessions with overnight stay, traveling to follow-up sessions, and to complete the evaluation
  • Are willing to refrain from taking any anti-depressants during the study period.
  • Are willing to refrain from taking any benzodiazepines during the 24 hours preceding each scheduled psilocybin, placebo, or open label session.
  • Are able to communicate in English.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Meet DSM-IV criteria for bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or other psychotic disorders.
  • Meet DSM-IV criteria for abuse of or dependence on any substance (other than caffeine or nicotine) in the past 60 days.
  • Have first-degree relatives (as parent or full sibling) with past or present psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia, bipolar affective disorder and other psychoses, but excluding mood disorders.
  • Cannot have a current diagnosis of anxiety disorder that predates diagnosis with melanoma.
  • Have used psilocybin or psilocybin-containing mushrooms within the past year.
  • Require concomitant treatment with anti-psychotic medications, prescribed for the management of either psychiatric symptoms or nausea. The restriction on 5HT2C/5HT3 antagonists is applicable for 24 hours before and including the day of the study.
  • Are cachectic [exhibiting signs of wasting] as indicated by loss of 10% or greater of their total weight.
  • Have been diagnosed with primary or metastatic cancer of the CNS confirmed by MRI, within 6 weeks of participation in the study.
  • Have uncontrolled hypertension.
  • Have baseline laboratory values indicative of severely compromised hepatic function, indicated by unacceptable levels of alkaline phosphatase (ALP) above 750 U/L. Participants must also have laboratory blood screening indicating ALP below 750 U/L immediately prior to administration of psilocybin.
  • Are women who are pregnant or nursing, or of child bearing potential and are not practicing an effective means of birth control.
  • Are reasonably judged to present a serious suicide or homicide risk or who are likely to require psychiatric hospitalization during the course of the study.
  • Are unable to fully understand the potential risks and benefits of the study and give informed consent.
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00979693

Locations
United States, Florida
Mount Sinai Comprehensive Cancer Center
Miami Beach, Florida, United States, 33140
Sponsors and Collaborators
Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies
Investigators
Principal Investigator: Sameet Kumar, Ph.D Psycho-oncologist, Mount Sinai Comprehensive Cancer Center
  More Information

No publications provided

Responsible Party: Rick Doblin, Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00979693     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: PCA1
Study First Received: September 16, 2009
Last Updated: April 1, 2011
Health Authority: United States: Food and Drug Administration

Keywords provided by Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies:
anxiety
stage IV melanoma
depression
spirituality
pain

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Anxiety Disorders
Melanoma
Mental Disorders
Neuroendocrine Tumors
Neuroectodermal Tumors
Neoplasms, Germ Cell and Embryonal
Neoplasms by Histologic Type
Neoplasms
Neoplasms, Nerve Tissue
Nevi and Melanomas
Psilocybine
Hallucinogens
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Pharmacologic Actions
Central Nervous System Agents
Therapeutic Uses
Psychotropic Drugs

ClinicalTrials.gov processed this record on August 28, 2014