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Acupuncture Study for the Prevention of Taxane Induced Myalgias and Neuropathy

The recruitment status of this study is unknown. The completion date has passed and the status has not been verified in more than two years.
Verified May 2015 by Columbia University.
Recruitment status was:  Active, not recruiting
Breast Cancer Research Foundation
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Dawn L. Hershman, Columbia University Identifier:
First received: July 14, 2010
Last updated: May 20, 2015
Last verified: May 2015
This is a two arm randomized pilot study. This study seeks to determine if 12 weeks of weekly electroacupuncture will prevent or decrease neuropathic pain in breast cancer patients receiving 12 weekly treatments of taxane treatment.

Condition Intervention Phase
Breast Cancer
Other: Electro-acupuncture
Other: Sham acupuncture
Phase 1

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: Double Blind (Participant, Care Provider, Investigator)
Primary Purpose: Prevention
Official Title: Randomized Sham Controlled Trial of Weekly Electro-acupuncture for the Prevention of Taxane Induced Myalgias and Neuropathy

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Columbia University:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Difference in neuropathic pain between the two arms [ Time Frame: 12 weeks ]
    Neuropathic pain as measured by the mean Brief Pain Inventory-Short Form (BPI-SF) worst pain score, which will be administered at study entry, 6 weeks, 12 weeks, and 16 weeks

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Difference of fact-taxane scores and quality of life measures between the groups [ Time Frame: 16 weeks ]
    FACT-Tax quality of life assessment will be administered at study entry, 6 weeks, 12 weeks, and 16 weeks.

  • Difference of the extent of neurologic dysfunction between the two arms [ Time Frame: 16 weeks ]
    Neurologic dysfunction will be assessed via the Grooved Pegboard test, which will be administered at study entry, 6 weeks, 12 weeks and 16 weeks.

  • Difference in change in pro-inflammatory cytokines [ Time Frame: 16 weeks ]
    Blood draw for assays of interleukin 1 beta (IL-1 beta), interleukin 6 (IL-6), and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) taken at study entry, 6 weeks, 12 weeks, and 16 weeks

Estimated Enrollment: 50
Study Start Date: December 2010
Estimated Study Completion Date: December 2015
Estimated Primary Completion Date: December 2015 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Active Comparator: Electro-acupuncture
45 minute sessions scheduled once a week for 12 weeks.
Other: Electro-acupuncture
Subjects will be placed in prone position and acupuncture sites will be cleaned with alcohol preparation. Stainless steel disposable acupuncture needle (diameter 0.25mm) will be inserted into the skin to appropriate depth needed to elicit de qi(approximately 3-4mm). Selected acupuncture points will be attached to2 leads connected to an electro-stimulator that generates 2 Hz of mixed pulsatile intervals for a total of 30 minutes. The acupuncturist will return two times during the treatment at 10 and 20 minutes with needles in situ to check on the patients and needles. Needles not attached to the electro-stimulator will be manipulated manually to elicit de qi one time during the treatment.
Sham Comparator: Sham acupuncture
45 minute sessions scheduled once a week for 12 weeks
Other: Sham acupuncture
Will be utilizing a sham control that consists of collapsible acupuncture needle so that there is no penetration of skin. The sham needles will be place on 4 non specific body points. The elecrto-stimulator will be attached to the needles for 30 minutes but will not be turned on. The acupuncturist will return two times during the treatment at 10 and 20 minutes to check on the patient. The acupuncturist will touch the collapsible acupuncture needs to simulate the manipulation of the needles.

Detailed Description:

The primary endpoint of this study is to compare the difference in neuropathic pain as measured by the mean Brief Pain Inventory-Short Form (BPI-SF) worse pain score at 12 weeks between the two arms. The Brief Pain Inventory-Short Form is a well validated clinical tool used frequently to assess severity of pain and its effect on daily functions. BPI-SF also monitors the effects of treatment on pain in patients with cancer and other chronic illnesses. The instrument gives several ratings of the intensity and severity of pain and the degree of pain interference on activity, mood, sleep, relations with others and work. The questionnaire uses a 0-10 scale for subject ratings and takes five minutes to complete. We consider a reduction of 2 or more points on the BPI-SF worst pain item to correspond with a clinically meaningful decrease in pain.

The secondary endpoints include other efficacy outcomes such as quality of life measures, extent of neurological dysfunction, blood levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, and adverse events.


Ages Eligible for Study:   21 Years and older   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   Female
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Age>21 years
  • History of stage I-III breast cancer
  • Patient scheduled to be receiving weekly adjuvant paclitaxel for 12 weeks
  • Signed informed consent

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Previous treatment with acupuncture
  • Diabetic Neuropathy or other neurological conditions
  • Inflammatory, metabolic or neuropathic arthropathies
  • Current narcotic use
  • Severe concomitant illnesses
  • Severe coagulopathy or bleeding disorder
  • Dermatological disease within the acupuncture area
  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01163682

United States, New York
Columbia University Medical Center
New York, New York, United States, 10032
Sponsors and Collaborators
Columbia University
Breast Cancer Research Foundation
Principal Investigator: Dawn L Hershman, MD, MS Columbia University
  More Information

Responsible Party: Dawn L. Hershman, Associate Professor of Medicine & Epidemiology, Columbia University Identifier: NCT01163682     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: AAAE7054
Study First Received: July 14, 2010
Last Updated: May 20, 2015

Keywords provided by Columbia University:
Taxane induced neuropathy

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Muscular Diseases
Musculoskeletal Diseases
Musculoskeletal Pain
Neurologic Manifestations
Nervous System Diseases
Neuromuscular Diseases
Signs and Symptoms
Antineoplastic Agents processed this record on May 24, 2017