Last updated on April 2019

Intranasal (NAS) Ketamine for Cancer Pain


Brief description of study

The main purpose of this study is to determine the safety, feasibility, and utility of intranasal (NAS) ketamine in persistent uncontrolled cancer related pain. In this prospective clinical trial the researchers will investigate the use of NAS ketamine in patients with pain related to cancer or cancer treatment. The researchers plan to enroll at least 25 patients meeting inclusion/exclusion criteria, to achieve a minimum of 10 patients who complete the study. Participants will be recruited from the supportive oncology clinic, oncology clinics, the pain clinic and Acute Pain Service at Emory. Participants will be asked to return to the Phase I unit of the Winship Cancer Building C for a total of 5 study visits, each two to five days apart. During these visits participants will complete questionnaires, have blood samples drawn and will have study medication administered to them in escalating doses. For safety monitoring participants will be contacted by telephone 14 days after the last dose of medication administered.

Detailed Study Description

There are about 11.9 million Americans affected with cancer. 53% of patients with cancer experience pain at all stages of cancer. These patients often require high doses of opioids with uncontrolled pain that makes them too sedated to effectively participate in day-to-day activities and have a good quality of life. Depression often co-exists with cancer pain due to the nature of the disease. The researchers are searching for improved therapies for chronic cancer pain and ketamine with its novel mechanism of action may be a promising solution.

Ketamine is an FDA approved anesthetic with the ability to effect memory loss, pain relief and sedation. Safety and efficacy of ketamine as an anesthetic and analgesic agent is well documented. Low doses of ketamine have minimal adverse impact on circulatory or breathing functions but can reduce pain. Research has shown that ketamine is effective in controlling breakthrough pain and reducing depression in a randomized double blind controlled trial. There is limited data regarding the use of ketamine for pain management in cancer.

One of the challenges with ketamine is the route of administration, most commonly given intravenously (IV) or intramuscularly (IM). It has also been given by mouth and rectally, but absorption is very poor. Intranasal (NAS) administration may be a promising method of delivery and can be ordered by a physician from a compounding pharmacy. From other research the investigators expect absorption to be higher than oral or rectal administration and this method of delivery as needle-free is a patient-friendly route of administration.

The main purpose of this study is to determine the safety, feasibility, and utility of intranasal (NAS) ketamine in persistent uncontrolled cancer related pain. In this prospective clinical trial the researchers will investigate the use of NAS ketamine in patients with pain related to cancer or cancer treatment. The researchers plan to enroll at least 15 patients meeting inclusion/exclusion criteria, to achieve a minimum of 10 patients who complete the study. Participants will be recruited from the oncology clinic, pain clinic and Acute Pain Service at Emory. Participants will be asked to return to the Phase I unit of the Winship Cancer Building C for a total of 5 study visits, each two to five days apart. During these visits participants will complete questionnaires, have blood samples drawn and will have study medication administered to them in escalating doses. For safety monitoring participants will be contacted by telephone 14 days after the last dose of medication administered.

Data obtained from this study will help determine if ketamine provides a reduction of pain using the Numeric Pain Rating Scale and a reduction in the use of opioid consumption and other rescue medications. Additionally the researchers will study the bioavailability, pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics of ketamine and the safety profile of NAS ketamine.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT03146806

Contact Investigators or Research Sites near you

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Winship Cancer Institute

Atlanta, GA United States
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Recruitment Status: Open


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