Melatonin Supplementation for Cancer-related Fatigue in Patients Receiving Radiotherapy

  • End date
    Aug 31, 2024
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    Virginia Commonwealth University
Updated on 26 January 2021


This is a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial wherein subjects with breast cancer will be randomized to receive either 20 mg oral melatonin or placebo the night before their first RT, nightly throughout their RT, and for an additional 2 weeks following the completion of their RT. After informed consent is obtained from eligible subjects, they will then be electronically randomized on a 1:1 ratio to melatonin treatment or placebo. The subjects will be stratified according to treatment duration (less than 3 weeks; equal to or greater than 3 weeks) and prior chemotherapy.


Subjects will be randomized to receive either melatonin or placebo. Subjects will receive 20-mg oral melatonin or placebo the night before their first RT treatment, each night throughout the course of RT treatment, and for 2 weeks following the completion of RT. Patients with localized breast cancer will receive standard-of-care RT as determined by the treating physician. The RT regimens include: (1) 1 week of APBI; (2) 3-4 weeks of an accelerated hypofractionation RT schedule; and (3) 6-8 weeks of a standard RT schedule. No additional concomitant medication or supportive care guidelines are required for this study. Subjects will receive daily melatonin or placebo beginning the night before their course of RT and for an additional 2-week period that extends beyond the conclusion of their RT. Subjects will be given a Study Diary to record their use of study medication. Patients will be followed for 60 days after removal from the study treatment or until death, whichever occurs first. Patients removed from the study treatment for unacceptable AEs will be followed until resolution or stabilization of the adverse event.

Condition Breast Cancer Female
Treatment Placebo, Melatonin
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT02332928
SponsorVirginia Commonwealth University
Last Modified on26 January 2021


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

Is your age greater than or equal to 18 yrs?
Are you female?
Do you have Breast Cancer Female?
Do you have any of these conditions: Do you have Breast Cancer Female??
Ambulatory outpatients with breast (including ductal carcinoma in situ [DCIS]) cancer
Patients to be treated with RT for curative intent
Women 18 years of age
ECOG performance status <3 (Appendix 4)
Hemoglobin 9 g/dL
Either post-menopausal, surgically sterilized, or willing to use an acceptable method of birth control during study treatment and for 3 months afterwards
Subjects who are currently taking melatonin must discontinue melatonin for 5 days before enrolling in the study
Ability to understand and the willingness to sign a written informed consent document

Exclusion Criteria

Fatigue brought on by conditions other than cancer such as (the indicated tests are required only if that mechanism of fatigue is suspected)
uncontrolled hypothyroidism (TSH >10 IU)
hypercalcemia (calcium >11 mg/dL) Ca = SerumCa + 0.8 (NormalAlbumin - PatientAlbumin)
decompensated congestive heart failure
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease requiring oxygen replacement
Patients with a creatinine clearance <30 mL/min
Aspartate aminotransferase (AST) > 3X upper limit of normal (ULN)
Alanine aminotransferase (ALT) > 3X ULN
Bilirubin > 1X ULN
Use of systemic steroids, or other pharmacological agents such as methylphenidate for cancer-related fatigue
Current use of American ginseng, remelteon, or warfarin
Depression grade 2 (CTCAE v4.0)
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