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Effects of Methylphenidate on Attention Deficits in Childhood Cancer Survivors

This study has been terminated.
(Due to slow accrual)
Children's Cancer Research Fund United States
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
University of Minnesota - Clinical and Translational Science Institute Identifier:
First received: April 7, 2010
Last updated: March 16, 2015
Last verified: March 2015

While neurocognitive impairments in attention, memory and executive functioning are commonly reported sequelae of childhood leukemia and brain tumors, studies have only recently begun to examine the treatment of attention deficits in this population. Numerous studies have examined the effectiveness of methylphenidate in the treatment of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, the effectiveness of this medication for improving attention and behavioral functioning in children with medical illnesses or brain injury are less clear.

Patients will be randomized to receive one week of Metadate CD (a controlled release form of methylphenidate, similar to Ritalin) and one week of placebo in a double-blind fashion.

Condition Intervention
ALL, Childhood
Leukemia, Lymphoblastic
Leukemia, Lymphoblastic, Acute
Leukemia, Lymphoblastic, Acute, L1
Leukemia, Lymphoblastic, Acute, L2
Leukemia, Lymphoblastic, Acute, Philadelphia-Positive
Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Acute
Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Acute, L1
Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Acute, L2
Lymphoblastic Leukemia
Lymphoblastic Leukemia, Acute
Lymphoblastic Leukemia, Acute, Childhood
Lymphoblastic Leukemia, Acute, L1
Lymphoblastic Leukemia, Acute, L2
Lymphoblastic Lymphoma
Lymphocytic Leukemia, Acute
Lymphocytic Leukemia, L1
Lymphocytic Leukemia, L2
Brain Tumors
Cancer of the Brain
Cancer of Brain
Malignant Primary Brain Tumors
Brain Neoplasms, Malignant
Drug: Methylphenidate
Drug: Placebo

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Crossover Assignment
Masking: Double Blind (Participant, Investigator)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Effects of Methylphenidate on Neuropsychological Functioning in Children With Attention Deficits Secondary to Childhood Cancer

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by University of Minnesota - Clinical and Translational Science Institute:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Effectiveness of Methylphenidate on Neurocognitive Components [ Time Frame: Week 1 and Week 2 ]
    Child performance on neuropsychological testing (i.e., using Test of Variables of Attention [TOVA] which is a computerized test of attention that assists in the screening, diagnosis, and treatment monitoring of attention disorders, like Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder [ADHD], and working memory index of the WisSC IV. Standard scores average = 100 +/- 15. Higher scores indicate better performance. Scores < or = 1 SD below the mean represent area of deficit.

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Changes in Parent and Teacher Ratings of Attention, Executive Functioning and Behavior [ Time Frame: Week 1 and Week 2 ]
    Parent and teacher ratings of attention, executive function and behavior (i.e., Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function [BRIEF -a parent questionnaire and a teacher questionnaire-designed to assess executive functioning in home and school environments. Conners Parent Rating Scale-3 Short Form [CPRS-3 research and clinical tool for obtaining parental reports of childhood behavior problems.] Standard scores average = 50 + or - 10. Higher scores indicate more severe difficulty. Scores > or = 60 represent areas of significant behavior concern.

Enrollment: 1
Study Start Date: May 2010
Study Completion Date: November 2010
Primary Completion Date: November 2010 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Active Comparator: Methylphenidate
Administered 1 capsule each day for 1 week, .3 mg/kg dose.
Drug: Methylphenidate
1 capsule each day for 1 week, .3 mg/kg dose.
Other Names:
  • Metadae CD (TM)
  • Methylphenidate hydrochloride
Placebo Comparator: Placebo
Administered 1 capsule each day for 1 week.
Drug: Placebo
1 capsule per day for 1 week.
Other Name: Inactive substance


Ages Eligible for Study:   8 Years to 17 Years   (Child)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

Initial Screening and Registration

  • Previous diagnosis of acute lymphoblastic leukemia or brain tumor and have been off treatment and in disease-free remission for a minimum of one year; treated at the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview.
  • Proficient in English
  • Have given informed consent (assent)

After Initial Screening

  • Have evidence of attention impairment based on parent report of attention deficit (> and = 75% on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder [ADHD] Index, Hyperactivity, or Cognitive-Problems/Inattention Index of parent-completed attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) rating scale [Conners Parent Rating Scale] and perform at least 1.0 standard deviations below the mean on Omissions, Commissions, or Variability indexes of the Test of Variables of Attention (TOVA)
  • Have an estimated Full Scale IQ score on the Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence (WASI) >55.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Have optic pathway gliomas and/or neurofibromatosis
  • Diagnosed with ADD/ADHD prior to their cancer diagnosis
  • Currently taking antidepressants or antipsychotics
  • Currently being treated with stimulant medication
  • Blind
  • Have glaucoma
  • Have a family or personal history of motor or phonic tics or Tourette syndrome
  • Have seizures not controlled by antiepileptic drugs
  • Taking an MAO-inhibitor
  • Have a history of cardiovascular disease, uncontrolled hypertension, or hyperthyroidism, or current hypertension requiring antihypertensives
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01100658

United States, Minnesota
University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview
Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States, 55455
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of Minnesota - Clinical and Translational Science Institute
Children's Cancer Research Fund United States
Principal Investigator: Alicia Kunin-Batson, Ph.D. Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota
  More Information

Responsible Party: University of Minnesota - Clinical and Translational Science Institute Identifier: NCT01100658     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 2009NTLS075
0907M69644 ( Other Identifier: IRB, University of Minnesota )
Study First Received: April 7, 2010
Results First Received: July 28, 2011
Last Updated: March 16, 2015

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Leukemia, Lymphoid
Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma
Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity
Brain Neoplasms
Acute Disease
Neoplasms by Histologic Type
Lymphoproliferative Disorders
Lymphatic Diseases
Immunoproliferative Disorders
Immune System Diseases
Attention Deficit and Disruptive Behavior Disorders
Neurodevelopmental Disorders
Mental Disorders
Central Nervous System Neoplasms
Nervous System Neoplasms
Neoplasms by Site
Brain Diseases
Central Nervous System Diseases
Nervous System Diseases
Disease Attributes
Pathologic Processes
Central Nervous System Stimulants
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Dopamine Uptake Inhibitors
Neurotransmitter Uptake Inhibitors
Membrane Transport Modulators
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action processed this record on April 28, 2017