Study of Donepezil in Female Breast Cancer Survivors With Cognitive Dysfunction

This study has been completed.
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Wake Forest Cancer Center CCOP Research Base Identifier:
First received: November 2, 2011
Last updated: April 18, 2013
Last verified: April 2013

RATIONALE: Donepezil hydrochloride may help lessen cognitive dysfunction caused by chemotherapy.

PURPOSE: This phase II trial is studying donepezil hydrochloride in treating cognitive dysfunction after chemotherapy in female breast cancer survivors.

Condition Intervention Phase
Anxiety Disorder
Breast Cancer
Cognition Disorders
Sleep Disorders
Drug: donepezil hydrochloride
Drug: Placebo
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: A Feasibility Study of Donepezil in Female Breast Cancer Survivors With Self-Reported Cognitive Dysfunction Following Chemotherapy

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Wake Forest Cancer Center CCOP Research Base:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Participation rate [ Time Frame: 36 Weeks ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]

Enrollment: 62
Study Start Date: April 2012
Study Completion Date: January 2013
Primary Completion Date: January 2013 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: Arm I
Patients receive donepezil hydrochloride PO QD.
Drug: donepezil hydrochloride
Given PO
Other Name: Donepezil
Placebo Comparator: Arm II
Patients receive placebo PO QD.
Drug: Placebo
Given PO
Other Name: Placebo

Detailed Description:



  • Determine the feasibility of conducting a randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial for cognitive symptoms in female breast cancer survivors.


  • Estimate the variability of the clinical outcomes (FACT-Cognition Perceived Cognitive Impairment subscale, neurocognitive battery, FACIT-Fatigue, FACT Cog Total Score, PROMIS Fatigue, Epworth Sleepiness Scale, Beck Depression Inventory, Beck Anxiety Inventory, and RAND Short Form-36).
  • Estimate the within patient correlation over time of the clinical outcomes.
  • Obtain preliminary estimates of the effect of donepezil on the primary and secondary outcome variables.
  • Correlate the reports of fatigue, sleep disturbance, and mood with measures of cognitive symptoms and neurocognitive test performance.
  • Document the severity of cognitive symptoms and functional impairment in female breast cancer survivors who enroll on this pilot study.
  • Correlate cognitive symptoms with cognitive test performance.
  • Document the toxicities associated with donepezil hydrochloride use.

OUTLINE: This is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter study. Patients are stratified according to menopausal status (pre- vs peri-/post-menopausal) and time since end of chemotherapy (12-36 months vs 36.01-60 months).

Arm I: Patients receive donepezil hydrochloride orally (PO) once daily (QD).

Arm II: Patients receive placebo PO QD.

In both arms treatment continues for 24 weeks.

Patients complete the entire battery of neurocognitive tests and questionnaires (FACT-Cognition Perceived Cognitive Impairment subscale, neurocognitive battery, FACIT-Fatigue, FACT Cog Total Score, PROMIS Fatigue, Epworth Sleepiness Scale, Beck Depression Inventory, Beck Anxiety Inventory, and RAND Short Form-36) at baseline (pre-treatment), 24 weeks (end of medication), and 36 weeks (end of wash-out).

After completion of therapy, patients are followed at 12 weeks.


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


  • Adults >18 years old.
  • Female with history of invasive breast cancer
  • Must have completed adjuvant chemotherapy between 1 and 5 years prior to registration
  • Received at least 4 cycles of cytotoxic chemotherapy
  • Documentation of prior chemotherapy
  • Patients receiving ongoing hormonal therapy for breast cancer must be on the same hormonal agent for at least 3 months prior to study registration and continue for the duration of the study (9 months)
  • Karnofsky Performance Status must be > 60 or ECOG 0-2.
  • Use of psychotropic medications (anti-depressants, anxiolytics, sleeping aids, narcotics) is permitted. Patient will be asked to list any that have been taken within the last 3 days on the recent medication sheet.
  • Patients must be able to give informed consent to participate in the study, including signing the consent form.
  • Self-reported cognitive disruption (FACT-Cog Version 3 Perceived Cognitive Impairments sub-score of < 63)
  • Negative serum pregnancy test within 10 days prior to registration for women of child-bearing potential.


  • Evidence or suspected recurrent or metastatic disease
  • History of dementia, Alzheimer's disease, multi-infarct dementia or CVA (history of transient ischemic attack (TIA is allowed)
  • Current use of donepezil, galantamine, rivastigmine, tacrine, memantine, methylphenidate, dextroamphetamine, or any other specific cognition enhancing drugs.are not allowed. For patients who have used these medications they must not have used them within 4 weeks prior to registration.

Patients may not currently be taking Ketoconazole or Quinidine

  • Hypersensitivity to donepezil.
  • Use of investigational medications within the last 30 days.
  • Prior brain metastasis
  • Traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis or recent myocardial infarction
  • History of schizophrenia, psychosis or substance abuse
  • Untreated current severe depression. (Currently treated depression is permitted if treatment is stable.)
  • Acute severe fatigue, chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia.
  • History of hepatic or renal dysfunction or disease
  • Pregnant women are excluded from this study. The effects of donepezil on the developing human fetus at the recommended therapeutic dose are unknown. For this reason and because donepezil is known to be teratogenic, women of child-bearing potential must agree to use adequate contraception (hormonal or barrier method of birth control; abstinence) prior to study entry and for the duration of study participation. Should a woman become pregnant or suspect she is pregnant while participating in this study, she should inform her study physician immediately.
  • It is unknown whether donepezil is excreted in breast milk, for this reason women who are currently breast-feeding are not eligible for this study.
  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01466270

United States, North Carolina
Wake Forest Cancer Center CCOP Research Base
Winston Salem, North Carolina, United States, 27157
Sponsors and Collaborators
Wake Forest Cancer Center CCOP Research Base
Principal Investigator: Julia A. Lawrence Comprehensive Cancer Center of Wake Forest University
  More Information

Additional Information:
No publications provided

Responsible Party: Wake Forest Cancer Center CCOP Research Base Identifier: NCT01466270     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: CCCWFU 97211, U10CA081851
Study First Received: November 2, 2011
Last Updated: April 18, 2013
Health Authority: United States: Institutional Review Board

Keywords provided by Wake Forest Cancer Center CCOP Research Base:
sleep disorders
anxiety disorder
cognitive/functional effects
breast cancer
cancer survivor

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Depressive Disorder
Anxiety Disorders
Sleep Disorders
Cognition Disorders
Breast Neoplasms
Behavioral Symptoms
Mood Disorders
Mental Disorders
Signs and Symptoms
Nervous System Diseases
Neurologic Manifestations
Delirium, Dementia, Amnestic, Cognitive Disorders
Pathologic Processes
Neoplasms by Site
Breast Diseases
Skin Diseases
Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial
Neoplasms by Histologic Type
Cholinesterase Inhibitors
Enzyme Inhibitors
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action
Pharmacologic Actions
Cholinergic Agents processed this record on September 22, 2014