Acupuncture for Pain Control in Patients With Inoperable Pancreatic Cancer

Electroacupuncture Analgesia in Patients With Inoperable Pancreatic Cancer: A Randomized, Sham-controlled Study

Sponsors

Lead Sponsor: Chinese University of Hong Kong

Source Chinese University of Hong Kong
Brief Summary

Pancreatic cancer is the sixth most common cause of cancer death in Hong Kong. Patients suffering from pancreatic cancer are associated with a poor prognosis and survival of less than one year is expected in inoperable tumours (1). Management of these patients would be towards palliation of symptoms. Severe pain occurs in 50 to 70% of the patients and this "intractable" pain is often difficult to treat (2). Pain management is a major part of the comprehensive therapy in patients with pancreatic cancer, and it also affects their quality of life. Electroacupuncture seems to be a promising way to control the cancer pain and reduce the dose and side effects of pain killers including opioid. This study aimed to investigate the efficacy and safety of electroacupuncture in reducing pancreatic cancer pain in patients suffering from inoperable pancreatic cancer.

Detailed Description

Patients suffering from pancreatic cancer are associated with a poor prognosis and survival of less than one year is expected in inoperable tumours. Management of these patients would be towards palliation of symptoms. Severe pain occurs in 50 to 70% of the patients and this "intractable" pain is often difficult to treat. Pain management is a major part of the comprehensive therapy in patients with pancreatic cancer, and it also affects their quality of life. Different pharmacological agents have been used in the past to control this pain and these include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and narcotic agents. However, these agents are associated with their own adverse effects and may further impair quality of life. Radiotherapy and celiac plexus neurolysis also can relieve the cancer pain, patients' responses are often variable and difficult to predict.

Recently, more and more studies were focused on the acupuncture for cancer pain. Electroacupuncture (EA) analgesia seems to be a promising way to control the cancer pain and reduce the dose and side effects of analgesics. The latest review in 2012 showed that acupuncture might be an effective analgesic adjunctive method for cancer pain after concluding the results of 15 randomized-control trials. Nevertheless, studies focused on patients with pancreatic cancer and results from randomized trials are lacking.

This study aims to investigate the efficacy and effectiveness of EA analgesia for patients with inoperable pancreatic cancer.

Overall Status Terminated
Start Date March 2015
Completion Date March 1, 2020
Primary Completion Date March 1, 2020
Phase N/A
Study Type Interventional
Primary Outcome
Measure Time Frame
pain scores in numeric rating scale (NRS) 1 Month after Procedure
Secondary Outcome
Measure Time Frame
Procedural discomfort Day 0 after procedure
Willingness to repeat procedure 1 Month after Procedure
Morbidities related to the procedures 1 Month after Procedure
Quality of Life scores 1 Month after Procedure
Enrollment 1
Condition
Intervention

Intervention Type: Procedure

Intervention Name: Electroacupuncture

Description: Electroacupuncture (EA) has been used as a part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and the benefits and success of EA as a viable treatment option for acute and chronic pain of various origins have been well-recognised.electro-acupuncture (EA) is taken place as to give out the stimulation with fixed frequency, pulse width and current to acupuncture needle for further promotion of analgesics effects.

Other Name: Acupuncture

Eligibility

Criteria:

Inclusion Criteria:

1. All patients ≥ 18 years old with cytology or histology confirmed pancreatic cancer

2. Abdominal pain typical for pancreatic cancer

3. Inoperability of pancreatic cancer as demonstrated by computed tomography (CT), positron emission tomography (PET) scan or endoscopic ultrasonography (EUS).

4. Informed consent available

Exclusion Criteria:

1. Patients who are allergic to the acupuncture needles

2. Coagulopathy (prolongation of prothrombin time > 18 sec, thrombocytopenia <80,000 platelets/ml)

3. Another cause for abdominal pain such as pseudocyst, ulcer or other intra-abdominal disorder

4. Had been treated by acupuncture for pancreatic cancer within 1 year

5. Potential patient noncompliance (refusing to follow schedule of events)

6. Active alcohol or other drug use or significant psychiatric illness

7. Expected survival less than 3 months

8. Unable to give informed consent

Gender: All

Minimum Age: N/A

Maximum Age: N/A

Healthy Volunteers: No

Location
Facility: Department of Surgery; The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Location Countries

Hong Kong

Verification Date

July 2020

Responsible Party

Type: Principal Investigator

Investigator Affiliation: Chinese University of Hong Kong

Investigator Full Name: Charing Chong, MD

Investigator Title: Assistant Professor

Keywords
Has Expanded Access No
Condition Browse
Number Of Arms 2
Arm Group

Label: Electroacupuncture

Type: Active Comparator

Description: A Hong Kong registered Chinese Medicine practitioner will give Electroacupuncture treatments. Patients will be treated in a comfortable prone position. Jiaji (Ex-B2) points form T8 to T12 bilaterally are chosen based on traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) theory and neurophysiologic basis of Jiaji points. After De Qi sensation is achieved, the handles of needles on homolateral T8-T12 Jiaji are respectively connected to the Han's acupoint nerve stimulator at a frequency of 2/100 Hz and a current of 1 mA with a disperse-dense waveform. The needles remained for 30 min. The treatment was given twice weekly on week 1 and week 3.

Label: Sham

Type: Sham Comparator

Description: For placebo acupuncture, sham placebo acupuncture needles (DongBang AcuPrime Acupuncture Inc., South Korea) will be used. Its validity and credibility have been well demonstrated. The needles with blunt tips are quickly put onto the same points used in the electroacupuncture group without inserting into the skin. The needles on homolateral T8 and T12 Jiaji are then connected to the electric stimulator, but with zero frequency and electric current.

Study Design Info

Allocation: Randomized

Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment

Primary Purpose: Treatment

Masking: Triple (Participant, Care Provider, Outcomes Assessor)

Source: ClinicalTrials.gov