Psychostimulant No Again in Relieving Most cancers-Linked Fatigue

  • Six weeks of medication with methylphenidate did no better than placebo for bettering most cancers-linked fatigue (CRF).
  • The consequences continued a sample of inconsistency in outcomes of be taught investigating psychostimulants for CRF.
  • Changes in trial produce and attention on explicit subpopulations might well additionally produce further be taught worthwhile.

The psychostimulant methylphenidate proved no better than placebo for relieving most cancers-linked fatigue (CRF) in a randomized trial.

After 6 weeks of medication in palliative care patients with progressed most cancers, these allocated to methylphenidate had a 2-point better development fatigue ranking in comparison with placebo, a nonsignificant difference. After 10 weeks, the methylphenidate community unruffled had handiest a nonsignificant development versus placebo.

Rankings on quality-of-lifestyles (QoL) and symptom outcomes additionally didn’t differ between groups at 6 weeks, with the exception of a modest development in depression within the methylphenidate arm, reported Patrick Charles Stone, MD, of University College London, and coauthors within the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

“On the premise of our findings, we originate now not imply the spend (or further trials) of methylphenidate for fatigue in patients with progressed most cancers receiving palliative care,” the authors concluded. “Nonetheless, given the absence of indispensable AEs [adverse events], it would be safe to continue to search out its spend in future scientific trials for other symptoms (e.g., low mood or opioid-linked drowsiness), in combination with other interventions (e.g., exercise or psychological therapies) or in a quantity of populations (e.g., post-medicines fatigue).”

The authors of an accompanying editorial agreed that the negative results must now not shut the door to future be taught of methylphenidate or other psychostimulants.

“We mediate there remains room for further trials on this role, in particular in subpopulations that dangle demonstrated promise, the spend of measures that are sensitive to the explicit aspect of fatigue that is most at likelihood of point to a revenue,” wrote Camilla Zimmerman, MD, PhD, of the University of Texas MD Anderson Most cancers Heart in Houston, and coauthors. “Pondering the multifactorial nature of CRF, combination therapies of methylphenidate with other CRF therapies such as physical process or cognitive behavioral treatment must additionally be regarded as.”

The glance’s negative continued a sample of inconsistency with scientific trials of psychostimulants such as methylphenidate in patients with most cancers or AIDS, owing in grand section to challenges in trial produce, William Breitbart, MD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Most cancers Heart in Contemporary York Metropolis, prompt MedPage On the present time thru email.

“Thus, we have got viewed several trials that display shroud revenue and a lot of trials that display shroud no revenue,” mentioned Breitbart, a member of the Nationwide Total Most cancers Network (NCCN) Pointers Panel for Most cancers-Linked Fatigue.

Challenges of such trials encompass:

  • Deciding on a sufficiently severe fatigue threshold to enable ample room for development in fatigue; the present glance stale >3 on a scale of 10
  • Screening out patients with scientific depression to make certain the glance assesses the outcomes of methylphenidate on most cancers-linked fatigue and never fatigue linked with depression
  • A glance must focal point on a homogeneous population (e.g., patients with prostate most cancers handled with hormonal treatment); patients with progressed most cancers dangle a lot of doable causes of fatigue which can additionally answer in a different way to methylphenidate
  • The placebo discontinue for a subjective symptom such as fatigue might well additionally even be barely prolonged, and lively drug and placebo might well additionally now not separate for 4-6 weeks or extra, so longer trials are indispensable
  • Assessing fatigue with scales that attention handiest on subjective document — without discovering out cognitive results and physical endurance results, as successfully — reduces a multi-dimensional symptom to handiest one dimension, that can perhaps additionally be insufficient to scheme conclusions

“The NCCN Pointers toughen the spend of psychostimulants is now not merely basically basically based on the printed trials, but additionally on scientific judgment and abilities,” mentioned Breitbart. “Clinicians exercise methylphenidate in scientific mutter and in total behold advantages in fatigue. Remedy results are in total improved further if the underlying causes of fatigue might well additionally even be simultaneously handled (e.g., anemia). Nonetheless, a consensus of clinicians treating scientific fatigue in patients who’re fatigued from most cancers therapies of different etiologies win methylphenidate to be helpful.”

Stone and colleagues eminent that the NCCN “advises that methylphenidate might well additionally even be regarded as in chosen patients, but desires to be stale cautiously and never until medicines and illness-explicit morbidities were characterised and excluded.” The guiding precept parts out that optimum dosing and schedule dangle yet to be obvious. Meanwhile, the European Society for Medical Oncology guiding precept on most cancers-linked fatigue “is noncommittal referring to the topic,” they wrote.

Given the continued uncertainty about methylphenidate’s effectiveness, the authors performed a placebo-managed trial of individually titrated doses of the drug in patients with progressed most cancers. The indispensable aim changed into fatigue scores after 6 weeks of medication. Secondary outcomes incorporated QoL, AEs, activities of day-to-day living, flee for meals, patient satisfaction, survival, and wish for other medicines. Fatigue changed into assessed thru the FACIT-F questionnaire, and indispensable baseline fatigue changed into outlined as >3.

Knowledge prognosis incorporated 159 patients (76 males, 83 women folks) who had a median age of 63.7. Basically the most customary cancers in every groups were breast, lung, prostate, and lower gastrointestinal. Loads of baseline characteristics were balanced between the methylphenidate and placebo hands.

AEs had no discernible patterns to counsel better injure from methylphenidate than placebo. A total of 25 severe AEs came about in every arm.

After 6 weeks, the FACIT-F ranking within the methylphenidate community exceeded that of the placebo community by 1.97 (95% CI -0.95 to 4.90, P=0.186). A sensitivity prognosis resulted in a difference of 2.05 in settle on of methylphenidate, additionally nonsignificant. A threshold prognosis produced a difference of three.15 in settle on of methylphenidate, unruffled lower than a minimally clinically indispensable difference (MCID) of 5.

An prognosis at 10 weeks showed a difference of 2.20 in settle on of methylphenidate, unruffled lower than the MCID.

Mortality changed into identical within the two groups.

  • author['full_name']

    Charles Bankhead is senior editor for oncology and additionally covers urology, dermatology, and ophthalmology. He joined MedPage On the present time in 2007. Follow


The glance changed into supported by the UK Nationwide Institute for Health Study.

Stone had no relevant financial disclosures. Co-author Prick Freemantle disclosed relationships with Sanofi/Aventis, AstraZeneca, Thea, ALK, and Bloomsbury Therapeutixs.

Zimmermann is an affiliate editor of the Journal of Clinical Oncology. She disclosed a relationship with Pfizer.

Breitbart disclosed a relationship with Novartis.

Main Source

Journal of Clinical Oncology

Source Reference: Chin-Yee N, et al “Placing methylphenidate for most cancers-linked fatigue to relaxation?” J Clin Oncol 2024; DOI: 10.1200/JCO.24.00707.

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