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Non-invasive Ventilation in Terminally Ill Cancer Patients

This study has been completed.
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
dr. Stefano Nava, Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria di Bologna Policlinico S. Orsola Malpighi Identifier:
First received: September 20, 2007
Last updated: July 16, 2012
Last verified: July 2012

The occurrence of acute respiratory failure (ARF) is often seen by oncologists as a terminal phase of the disease, this view being based on studies reporting limited survival at considerable costs in such patients. A large proportion of cancer patients with severe respiratory failure are denied admission to an ICU because intensive care specialists are aware that intubation and mechanical ventilation are both strong predictors of mortality in critically ill cancer patients. This holds particularly true in the subset of patients who are not receiving chemotherapy or radiotherapy because of the advanced stage of their disease, and who are also not affected by an episode of ARF, related to a reversible cause.

These patients often receive oxygen therapy and morphine in an attempt to improve oxygenation and/or relieve the ensuing dyspnea.

Non-invasive mechanical ventilation (NIV) is now the first line treatment of ARF in selected populations (e.g., those with COPD) and has been used sporadically as a potential treatment of acute respiratory failure in patients with a "do-not-intubate" order. The International Consensus Conference on Intensive Care Medicine stated that "the use of NIV may be justified in selected patients who are "not to be intubated" and may provide patient comfort and facilitate physician-patient interaction." "Early" NIV has been successfully used so far in cancer patients only to prevent intubation among those with hematologic malignancies, while a pilot study has assessed the feasibility of NIV also as a "palliative" treatment of end-stage solid cancer patients. So far we are lacking data about the "pure palliative" effects of NIV,in patients with end-stage solid cancer.

The aim of this multicenter randomised study will be to evaluate on a large scale the feasibility, clinical efficacy and impact on quality of life and dyspnea of NIV versus standard medical in patients with respiratory failure, not related to a reversible cause, and solid cancer needing palliative care treatment.

Condition Intervention Phase
Other: non invasive ventilation (NIV)
Phase 4

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Single Blind (Investigator)
Primary Purpose: Supportive Care
Official Title: Multicenter, Randomised Study of the Use of Non-Invasive Ventilation (NIV) Versus Oxygen Therapy (O2) in Reducing Dyspnea in End-stage Solid Cancer Patients With Respiratory Failure and Distress

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by dr. Stefano Nava, Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria di Bologna Policlinico S. Orsola Malpighi:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • dyspnea [ Time Frame: 48 hours ]
  • morphine dosage [ Time Frame: 48 hours ]
  • Quality of Life [ Time Frame: 48 hours ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Arterial Blood Gases [ Time Frame: 48 hours ]
  • Survival [ Time Frame: 48 hours ]

Enrollment: 200
Study Start Date: September 2007
Study Completion Date: August 2011
Primary Completion Date: August 2011 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: 2
Non-invasive ventilation
Other: non invasive ventilation (NIV)
NIV is a form of mechanical ventilation delivered through a face or nasal mask and therefore not requiring endotracheal intubation. It will be delivered according to the compliance and tolerance of the patients.
Other Name: oxygen therapy

  Show Detailed Description


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 85 Years   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

Major criteria for enrollment into the study were one of the following:

  • PaO2/FiO2 ratio < 250 + one of the two following:

    • dyspnea with recruitment of the accessory muscles and/or abdominal muscles recruitment; and
    • respiratory rate > 30 b/ min. Hypercapnia per se is not a criteria of inclusion, but it is not an exclusion criteria if chronic.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Potentially reversible causes of exacerbation such as (CPE, pneumonia or exacerbation of chronic pulmonary disorders) coma
  • Refusal of treatment
  • Inability to protect the airways
  • An agitated or uncooperative patient
  • Anatomical abnormalities interfering with mask fit
  • Uncontrolled cardiac ischemia or arrhythmias
  • Failure of more than two organs
  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00533143

San'Orsola Malpighi Hospital, Bologna ITALY
Bologna, Italy, 40138
Sponsors and Collaborators
Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria di Bologna Policlinico S. Orsola Malpighi
Principal Investigator: Stefano Nava San'Orsola Malpighi Hospital, Bologna ITALY
  More Information

Publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number):
Responsible Party: dr. Stefano Nava, Chief ICU, Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria di Bologna Policlinico S. Orsola Malpighi Identifier: NCT00533143     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 322 CEC
Study First Received: September 20, 2007
Last Updated: July 16, 2012

Keywords provided by dr. Stefano Nava, Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria di Bologna Policlinico S. Orsola Malpighi:
Solid cancer patient
Non-invasive ventilation
Acute Respiratory Failure

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Respiratory Insufficiency
Respiration Disorders
Respiratory Tract Diseases processed this record on May 25, 2017