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A Pilot Study of Dronabinol for Adult Patients With Primary Gliomas

This study has been completed.
Solvay Pharmaceuticals
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Duke University Identifier:
First received: April 13, 2006
Last updated: July 10, 2014
Last verified: June 2013
This study seeks to define the tolerability and safety associated with the administration of Dronabinol in the treatment of adults with nausea, vomiting and appetite loss in patients with primary gliomas who are undergoing chemotherapy treatment. The study will also describe the effect of Dronabinol on the quality of life in terms of nausea, vomiting and anorexia in this patient group.

Condition Intervention Phase
Brain Neoplasms
Drug: Dronabinol
Phase 1

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: Open Label
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: A Pilot Study of Dronabinol for Adult Patients With Primary Gliomas

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Duke University:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Tolerability Rate [ Time Frame: Two months ]
    Percentage of participants where the 2 cycles of Dronabinol is tolerable. The treatment regimen is considered intolerable if (1) at least two adverse events of the following types that are attributed to Dronabinol during the 2 cycles of treatment occur: ≥Grade 3 non-hematologic, ≥Grade 2 hepatic/metabolic or ≥Grade 4 neuro toxicities, or (2) Dronabinol treatment is terminated early due to adverse events

  • Unacceptable Toxicity Rate [ Time Frame: 2 months ]
    Percentage of participants who experience one or more adverse events attributable to Dronabinol of the following types or grades: ≥Grade 3 non-hematologic, ≥Grade 2 hepatic/metabolic or ≥Grade 4 neuro toxicities

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Mean Change From Baseline in Quality of Life -- FACT-Br [ Time Frame: baseline and 2 months ]
    The mean change between baseline and post-treatment in quality of life as measured by the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Brain (FACT-Br), where change is computed as quality of life at 2 months minus quality of life at baseline. The FACT-Br instrument consists of 54 items to assess physical(PWB), social and family (SWB), emotional (EWB), functional well-being (FWB), and additional brain cancer specific concerns (AC). Using a 5-point Likert type scale, responses to individual items range from 0 (not at all) to 4 (Very Much) with higher scores indicating better quality of life. PWB, SWB, and FWB are the sum of 7 items and have a possible range between 0 and 28. EWB ranges between 0 and 24, and is the sum of 6 items. AC is the sum of 19 items, and ranges between 0 and 76.

  • Mean Change From Baseline in Quality of Life -- FLIE [ Time Frame: baseline, 24 hours, and 72 hours ]
    The mean change from baseline in quality of life as measured by the Functional Living Index Emesis (FLIE) scale during the first 24 and 72 hours of cycle 1. Change at 24 hours was computed as the 24 hour FLIE assessment minus the baseline assessment; whereas, change at 72 hours was computed as the 72 hour FLIE assessment minus the baseline assessment. The FLIE consists of 18 items for nausea and appetite on a 7-point scale. The effect of nausea and vomiting is measured by physical activity, social, and emotional function. Higher scores indicate less difficulty and interference with nausea and vomiting. Scores for the two subscales (nausea and vomiting) range between 0 and 54.

  • Mean Change From Baseline in Quality of Life -- MMSE [ Time Frame: baseline and 2 months ]
    The mean change between baseline and post-treatment in quality of life as measured by the Mini Mental Status Exam (MMSE). Change is computed as the MMSE level at month 2 minus MMSE level at baseline. MMSE is an 11-item questionnaire used to measure global cognitive status with scores ranging from 0 to 30; higher scores are an indication of greater cognitive function.

Enrollment: 33
Study Start Date: April 2006
Study Completion Date: April 2012
Primary Completion Date: October 2011 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: Dronabinol Drug: Dronabinol
Oral route, 5mg PO 2x daily before and during 2 cycles of chemotherapy,2.5mg PO every night when not on chemotherapy
Other Name: delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol

Detailed Description:

Symptoms identified as impacting quality of life include nausea and vomiting, appetite changes, pain, fatigue, mobility, insomnia, mood, bowel patterns, concentration and appearance (Donaldson and Fields, 1998). There has been little information published on the impact of these symptoms in the glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) population. More specifically, to date, there has not been an investigation that demonstrates the efficacy of an intervention on improving appetite, and decreasing nausea and vomiting in patients with GBM. This need serves as the basis for the current proposed investigation utilizing Dronabinol, a cannabinoid known to decrease incidence of nausea and vomiting, as well as controlling appetite changes for terminally ill patients receiving chemotherapy. In addition, there is no published research on the use of Dronabinol and dose limited toxicity for the brain tumor population.

In this study, patients will receive daily Dronabinol therapy through their chemotherapy cycle. Patients will complete daily appetite and nausea/vomiting logs, as well as receive telephone follow-up from the research coordinator to assess impact of treatment. This will be assessed through two consecutive cycles of chemotherapy.


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Patients with histologically confirmed diagnosis of primary malignant brain tumor (grade 3 or 4)
  • Karnofsky greater than or equal to 80%
  • Life expectancy greater than or equal to 6 months
  • Patients must be undergoing one of the following chemotherapy administrations: Temozolomide; Lomustine (CCNU) or Irinotecan or Camptosar (CPT-11)
  • Patients must give written informed consent
  • Patients must have aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine transaminase (ALT), total serum bilirubin, and alkaline phosphatase less than 2 times upper limits of normal laboratory values, performed within 14 days prior to initiation of study
  • For women, negative risk of pregnancy through standard chemotherapy screening procedures inclusive of pregnancy test, menopause or surgical procedure
  • Patient must have social support with caregiver daily monitoring for side effects

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Premorbid central nervous system (CNS) diagnosis (cerebral vascular accident (CVA), closed head injury (CHI), multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Patients with global aphesis limiting the informed consent process
  • Patients with unmanaged psychiatric disease
  • Patients with history of drug addiction or recent illicit drug usage within the last 3 months
  • Patients with hypersensitivity to dronabinol, marijuana or sesame seed oil
  • Patients must not be taking an concomitant meds contraindicated with Dronabinol (including anxiolytics, sedative, hypnotics, barbiturates, general anesthetics, monoamine oxidase inhibitors [MAOIs], opiate agonists, phenothiazines, sedating H1 blockers, skeletal muscle relaxants and sympathomimetics)
  • Patients who have hepatic enzyme elevation of greater than two times upper limits of normal laboratory values for AST, ALT, total serum bilirubin or alkaline phosphatase
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women
  • Women of childbearing potential who are not using an effective method of contraception (oral contraceptives, female and/or male barrier devices, spermicidal agents, or surgical procedures inhibiting contraception)
  • Patients who live alone
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00314808

United States, North Carolina
Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke University Medical Center
Durham, North Carolina, United States, 27710
Sponsors and Collaborators
Duke University
Solvay Pharmaceuticals
Principal Investigator: Deborah H Allen, MSN, RN, CNS, FNP-BC, AOCNP Duke University
  More Information

Responsible Party: Duke University Identifier: NCT00314808     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: Pro00007559
7136-05-6R0 ( Other Identifier: Duke legacy protocol number )
Study First Received: April 13, 2006
Results First Received: May 2, 2013
Last Updated: July 10, 2014

Keywords provided by Duke University:
primary gliomas
brain tumors
appetite suppression

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Brain Neoplasms
Neoplasms, Neuroepithelial
Neuroectodermal Tumors
Neoplasms, Germ Cell and Embryonal
Neoplasms by Histologic Type
Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial
Neoplasms, Nerve Tissue
Signs and Symptoms, Digestive
Signs and Symptoms
Central Nervous System Neoplasms
Nervous System Neoplasms
Neoplasms by Site
Brain Diseases
Central Nervous System Diseases
Nervous System Diseases
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Psychotropic Drugs
Analgesics, Non-Narcotic
Sensory System Agents
Peripheral Nervous System Agents
Cannabinoid Receptor Agonists
Cannabinoid Receptor Modulators
Neurotransmitter Agents
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action processed this record on April 28, 2017