Donepezil and Vitamin E to Prevent Side Effects Caused By Radiation Therapy to the Head in Patients Receiving Treatment for Small Cell Lung Cancer

This study has been completed.
Information provided by:
National Cancer Institute (NCI) Identifier:
First received: October 4, 2000
Last updated: August 20, 2009
Last verified: December 2002

RATIONALE: Donepezil and vitamin E may be able to decrease side effects caused by radiation therapy given to prevent brain metastases in patients with small cell lung cancer. It is not yet known if donepezil and vitamin E are effective in preventing side effects caused by radiation therapy to the head.

PURPOSE: Randomized phase III trial to determine the effectiveness of donepezil and vitamin E in preventing side effects caused by radiation therapy given to prevent brain metastases in patients who have small cell lung cancer.

Condition Intervention Phase
Cognitive/Functional Effects
Lung Cancer
Radiation Toxicity
Dietary Supplement: vitamin E
Drug: donepezil hydrochloride
Procedure: cognitive assessment
Procedure: psychosocial assessment and care
Procedure: quality-of-life assessment
Phase 3

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Masking: Double-Blind
Primary Purpose: Supportive Care
Official Title: An Exploratory Trial of Donepezil and Vitamin E to Prevent Cognitive Dysfunction in Patients With Small Cell Lung Cancer (SCLC) After Cancer Treatment Which Includes Prophylatic Cranial Irradiation (PCI)

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by National Cancer Institute (NCI):

Study Start Date: February 2001
Detailed Description:


  • Compare the interval between completion of cancer treatment that included prophylactic cranial irradiation and onset of cognitive decline in patients with small cell lung cancer (SCLC) treated with donepezil and vitamin E vs placebo.
  • Determine the toxicity of donepezil and vitamin E in these patients.
  • Determine whether preserved cognitive function favorably impacts quality of life in these patients.
  • Determine the natural history of cognitive decline in these patients after cancer treatment.
  • Determine whether genotypes of apolipoprotein E predict decline in cognitive function among patients at risk for treatment-associated dementia and whether these genotypes predict duration of disease-free survival among patients who have achieved complete response after treatment for SCLC.

OUTLINE: This is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Patients are stratified according to cognitive function (normal vs mild to moderate dysfunction vs severe dysfunction) and age (60 and under vs over 60).

Patients are randomized to 1 of 2 treatment arms.

  • Arm I: Patients receive oral donepezil daily and vitamin E twice daily.
  • Arm II: Patients receive oral placebos according to the same schedule as the study drugs in arm I.

All patients begin treatment within 2 weeks after completion of prophylactic cranial irradiation. Treatment continues for a minimum of 1 month in the absence of disease progression, unacceptable toxicity, or a 3.0 point drop on the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) and/or a 5 point drop on the Blessed Dementia Scale.

Cognition is assessed using the Blessed Dementia Scale and the MMSE at baseline and then every 3 months during study.

Quality of life and depression are assessed at baseline and then every 3 months during study.

Patients are followed every 6 months.

PROJECTED ACCRUAL: A total of 104 patients (52 per arm) will be accrued for this study within 3 years.


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


  • Diagnosis of small cell lung cancer (SCLC)

    • Must meet one of the following conditions:

      • Enrolled no more than 4 weeks before initiation of prophylactic cranial irradiation (PCI) OR
      • Enrolled no more than 10 days after initiation of PCI
    • Limited or extensive stage SCLC with complete response (CR) outside chest allowed
  • Must have CR or minimal disease after completion of intended course of chemotherapy
  • No disease progression since initiation of PCI
  • No prior or concurrent CNS metastases



  • 18 and over

Performance status:

  • ECOG 0-2

Life expectancy:

  • At least 12 weeks


  • Not specified


  • Bilirubin no greater than 1.5 mg/dL


  • Creatinine no greater than 2 times upper limit of normal


  • No sick sinus syndrome or other symptomatic supraventricular conduction disorders even if symptoms currently controlled by antiarrhythmics


  • No history of asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease requiring chronic oxygen therapy


  • No medical or psychiatric condition that would increase risk
  • No seizure disorder
  • No ongoing alcohol abuse


Biologic therapy:

  • Not specified


  • See Disease Characteristics
  • No concurrent anticancer chemotherapy

Endocrine therapy:

  • Not specified


  • See Disease Characteristics


  • Not specified


  • No concurrent medications that would impair baseline cognitive function or are likely to be dose escalated over the next few months
  • No other concurrent vitamin E
  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00006349

United States, Arizona
CCOP - Scottsdale Oncology Program
Scottsdale, Arizona, United States, 85259-5404
United States, Florida
Mayo Clinic
Jacksonville, Florida, United States, 32224
United States, Illinois
CCOP - Illinois Oncology Research Association
Peoria, Illinois, United States, 61602
CCOP - Carle Cancer Center
Urbana, Illinois, United States, 61801
United States, Iowa
CCOP - Cedar Rapids Oncology Project
Cedar Rapids, Iowa, United States, 52403-1206
CCOP - Iowa Oncology Research Association
Des Moines, Iowa, United States, 50309-1016
Siouxland Hematology-Oncology
Sioux City, Iowa, United States, 51101-1733
United States, Kansas
CCOP - Wichita
Wichita, Kansas, United States, 67214-3882
United States, Minnesota
Mayo Clinic Cancer Center
Rochester, Minnesota, United States, 55905
United States, Nebraska
CCOP - Missouri Valley Cancer Consortium
Omaha, Nebraska, United States, 68106
United States, North Dakota
Medcenter One Health System
Bismarck, North Dakota, United States, 58501
CCOP - Merit Care Hospital
Fargo, North Dakota, United States, 58122
United States, Pennsylvania
Allegheny General Hospital
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States, 15212-4772
United States, South Dakota
Rapid City Regional Hospital
Rapid City, South Dakota, United States, 57709
CCOP - Sioux Community Cancer Consortium
Sioux Falls, South Dakota, United States, 57104
Sponsors and Collaborators
North Central Cancer Treatment Group
Study Chair: Aminah Jatoi, MD Mayo Clinic
  More Information

Additional Information:
Publications: Identifier: NCT00006349     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: CDR0000068206, NCCTG-N99C5, NCI-P00-0169
Study First Received: October 4, 2000
Last Updated: August 20, 2009
Health Authority: United States: Federal Government

Keywords provided by National Cancer Institute (NCI):
cognitive/functional effects
radiation toxicity
limited stage small cell lung cancer
extensive stage small cell lung cancer
recurrent small cell lung cancer

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Lung Neoplasms
Radiation Injuries
Small Cell Lung Carcinoma
Bronchial Neoplasms
Carcinoma, Bronchogenic
Lung Diseases
Neoplasms by Site
Respiratory Tract Diseases
Respiratory Tract Neoplasms
Thoracic Neoplasms
Wounds and Injuries
Vitamin E
Central Nervous System Agents
Cholinergic Agents
Cholinesterase Inhibitors
Enzyme Inhibitors
Growth Substances
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action
Neurotransmitter Agents
Nootropic Agents
Pharmacologic Actions
Physiological Effects of Drugs processed this record on July 01, 2015