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MC5-A Scrambler Therapy in Reducing Peripheral Neuropathy Caused by Chemotherapy

This study has been completed.
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Mayo Clinic Identifier:
First received: February 1, 2011
Last updated: January 16, 2014
Last verified: January 2014

RATIONALE: Scrambler therapy may help relieve pain from peripheral neuropathy caused by chemotherapy.

PURPOSE: This phase II trial is studying how well MC5-A scrambler therapy works in reducing peripheral neuropathy caused by chemotherapy

Condition Intervention Phase
Pain Peripheral Neuropathy Other: scrambler therapy Procedure: sham intervention Other: questionnaire administration Phase 2

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: Single (Participant)
Primary Purpose: Supportive Care
Official Title: Scrambler Therapy for the Treatment of Chemotherapy Induced Peripheral Neuropathy: An Evaluation of a Sham Procedure and Phase II Trial

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Mayo Clinic:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Percentage of Patients Who Have at Least a 50% Reduction (i.e., Success) in at Least 1 of the First 12 Chemotherapy Induced Peripheral Neuropathy (CIPN) Measurement Questions in the Pre/Post Therapy Questionnaire [ Time Frame: On days 1 and 2 ]
    CIPN measurement items score range: 0 (none) to 10 (as bad as can be). The questions assessed the intensity of numbness, tingling, or pain in toes or feet that patients have had right now, at its worst over the past 24 hours, and on average over the past 24 hours.

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Average Change of CIPN Symptoms Between Sham Procedure and Scrambler Therapy as Measured by Each Individual Question [ Time Frame: On days 1 and 2 ]
    The 12 CIPN symptoms individual question range: 0 (none) to 10 (as bad as can be). The questions assessed the intensity of numbness, tingling, or pain in toes or feet that patients have had right now (RN), at its worst over the past 24 hours (WP24H), and on average over the past 24 hours (AvgP24H). Averaged change between day 1 and day 2 across 10 patients was calculated.

  • Percentage of Reduction at Days 10 From Day 1 in Each of the 12 CIPN Measurement Questions in the Daily Therapy Questionnaire [ Time Frame: Day 1 and Day 10 ]
    The 12 CIPN symptoms individual question range: 0 (none) to 10 (as bad as can be). The questions assessed the intensity of numbness, tingling, or pain in toes or feet that patients have had right now (RN), at its worst over the past 24 hours (WP24H), and on average over the past 24 hours (AvgP24H).

  • Percentage of Reduction at Weeks 10 From Week 1 in CIPN Symptoms as Measured by the North Central Cancer Treatment Group (NCCTG) Peripheral Neuropathy Question [ Time Frame: Week 1 and Week 10 ]
    The NCCTG peripheral neuropathy question range: 0 (No numbness or tingling or pain in fingers and/or toes) to 10 (Numbness, tingling or pain in fingers and/pr toes as bad as you can imagine). The question assessed the intensity of numbness, tingling or pain in toes or feet in the past week.

  • Percent Change From Day 1 at Week 10 in CIPN Symptom Bother as Measured by 8 CIPN Symptom Questions [ Time Frame: Day 1 and Week 10 ]
    The intensity of symptom was measured in a likert scale: none at all (0), a little bit (1), quite a bit (2) and very much (3). Percent change from day 1 at week 10 for each patient was calculated and average of percentage was reported.

  • Toxicity (Other Than CIPN) Profile Associated With Scrambler Therapy as Measured by Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (CTCAE) 4.0 [ Time Frame: Day 1 to Day 10 ]
    CTCAE Grading: Grade 1=Mild, Grade 2=Moderate, Grade 3=Severe, Grade 4=Life-threatening, Grade 5=Death.

  • Analgesic Use Over Time [ Time Frame: On days 1-11 and for 10 weeks after therapy ]

Enrollment: 10
Study Start Date: February 2011
Study Completion Date: June 2011
Primary Completion Date: May 2011 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: Supportive Care
See Detailed Description
Other: scrambler therapy
Undergo MC5-A therapy
Other Names:
  • transcutaneous electromanipulation by nervous patterns scrambler therapy
Procedure: sham intervention
Undergo sham procedure
Other: questionnaire administration
Ancillary studies

Detailed Description:


I. To explore the feasibility of studying scrambler therapy versus a sham procedure for the alleviation of lower extremity chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN).


I. To obtain prospective pilot experience with recommended scrambler therapy, with regards to treatment efficacy to determine effect size estimates, patient related outcome measurement tools that we use in this trial, tolerability, and analgesic use.

OUTLINE: Patients undergo a sham procedure on the back or scrambler therapy on both lower extremities for up to 30 minutes with the Calmare MC5-A device and cutaneous electrode patches applied above and below the area of pain on days 1 and 2. Patients continue scrambler therapy for 10 days in the absence of unacceptable toxicity.


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

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Received neurotoxic chemotherapy (including taxanes-such as paclitaxel or docetaxel, or platinum-based compounds such as carboplatin or cis-platinum or oxaliplatin, or vinca alkaloids such as vincristine, vinblastine, or vinorelbine, or proteosome inhibitors such as bortezomib); Note: this neurotoxic chemotherapy must have been completed more than 3 months prior to when they enter this trial
  • Pain or symptoms of peripheral neuropathy in the feet of >= 1 month (30 days) duration attributed to chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy, for which the patient wants intervention
  • Participants have to relate that numbness, tingling or pain in their toes/feet was at least a four out of ten problem during the prior week, on a 0-10 scale where zero was no problem and ten was the worst possible problem
  • Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) Performance Status (PS) = 0, 1, or 2
  • Life expectancy >= 3 months (90 days)
  • Ability to complete questionnaire(s) by themselves or with assistance
  • Provide informed written consent
  • No change in scheduled analgesic agents for at least one week

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Pregnant women
  • CIPN troubles in the lower extremities more proximal to the mid calf
  • Patients with implantable drug delivery systems, e.g. Medtronic Synchromed
  • Patients with heart stents or metal implants such as pacemakers, automatic defibrillators, aneurysm clips, vena cava clips and skull plates; (metal implants for orthopedic repair, e.g. pins, clips, plates, cages, joint replacements are allowed as are central venous access devices)
  • Patients with a history of myocardial infarction or ischemic heart disease within the past six months
  • Patients with history of epilepsy, brain damage, use of anti-convulsants, symptomatic brain metastases
  • Other identified causes of painful lower extremity paresthesias existing prior to chemotherapy (e.g., radiation or malignant plexopathy, lumbar or cervical radiculopathy, pre-existing peripheral neuropathy of another etiology: B12 deficiency, Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome [AIDS], monoclonal gammopathy, diabetes, heavy metal poisoning amyloidosis, syphilis, hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism, inherited neuropathy, etc.)
  • Skin conditions such as open sores that would prevent proper application of the electrodes
  • Other medical or other condition(s) that in the opinion of the investigators might compromise the objectives of the study
  • Prior treatment with Calmare MC-5A therapy for any reason or knowledge of application procedure
  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01290224

United States, Minnesota
Mayo Clinic
Rochester, Minnesota, United States, 55905
Sponsors and Collaborators
Mayo Clinic
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Study Chair: Charles Loprinzi, M.D. Mayo Clinic
  More Information

Responsible Party: Mayo Clinic Identifier: NCT01290224     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: MC10C8
NCI-2011-00109 ( Registry Identifier: CTRP (Clinical Trial Reporting Program) )
10-007874 ( Other Identifier: Mayo Clinic IRB )
MC10C8 ( Other Identifier: Mayo Clinic Cancer Center )
Study First Received: February 1, 2011
Results First Received: November 11, 2013
Last Updated: January 16, 2014

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Peripheral Nervous System Diseases
Neuromuscular Diseases
Nervous System Diseases processed this record on August 22, 2017