Last updated on January 2019

Mechanistic Study of Duloxetine Versus Placebo in Breast Cancer Patients With Chronic Pain


Brief description of study

Early stage breast cancer is typically treated with surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and/or endocrine therapy. Following treatment, 25-60% of breast cancer survivors have reported chronic pain, which can be difficult to manage. Duloxetine is a serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor that is FDA approved for treatment of depression, anxiety, fibromyalgia, diabetic neuropathic pain, knee arthritis, and low back pain.

Pilot data suggest that duloxetine is effective in management of endocrine therapy-associated musculoskeletal pain, and a randomized placebo controlled trial of duloxetine has demonstrated efficacy for treatment of chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain. In this mechanistic study of duloxetine versus placebo, we will investigate the change in pain sensitivity with treatment in order to evaluate both why duloxetine is effective for management of pain for some patients, as well as predictors of who is likely to benefit from duloxetine. A total of 84 women with early stage breast cancer who have chronic pain following treatment, as well as 48 women who are pain free, will be enrolled. All subjects will undergo assessment of pain sensitivity and complete questionnaires. Subjects with pain will be treated with duloxetine for a total of 7 weeks, with pain sensitivity assessments before treatment and after 4 weeks of full-dose treatment.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT01912612

Contact Investigators or Research Sites near you

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Norah L Henry, MD, PhD

Huntsman Cancer Institute
Salt Lake City, UT United States
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Recruitment Status: Open


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