Evaluation in the Treatment of Neuropathic Pain Post Breast Surgery (CAPTRANE)

  • End date
    Nov 19, 2022
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    Institut Cancerologie de l'Ouest
Updated on 7 February 2022


Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in Europe. Therefore, breast cancer has become a chronic disease and patients need to learn to live with it as well as with the adverse effects related to the disease itself or to the therapies used.

As noted in the third "Plan cancer", pain is a major criterion in the quality of life of patients treated for breast cancer.

Neuropathic pain was defined in 2011 by the international Association for the Study of Pain (I.A.S.P.) as the direct result of a lesion or disease affecting the somato-sensory system.

Surgical treatment is often the first treatment of breast cancer. It can be conservative by performing a partial mastectomy (lumpectomy or quadrantectomy) or non-preservative by total mastectomy.

Intercostobrachial neuralgia (NICB) or Post mastectomy painful Syndrome (MPRR) was first described by Wood in 1978 as "chronic pain beginning immediately or early after a mastectomy" Or a lumpectomy affecting the anterior thorax, armpit and/or arm in its upper half. These post-surgical pains are related to a lesion of the nerves in the breast area.

In particular, the intercostobrachial nerve can be severed, stretched or crushed during surgery.

Post-operative neuropathic pain in patients with breast cancer is underdiagnosed either by general practitioner or in a specialized environment.

The diagnosis of neuropathic pain is performed during examination and clinical examination. Several scales allow to detect neuropathic pain but only the DN4 is recognized to be the most specific and sensitive scale.

Patients do not always express this pain. They do not always reconcile with the surgery. Either because the pain occurs a long time after the surgery, or they find it normal to get hurt. These diagnostic difficulties cause a delay in setting up a suitable analgesic treatment.

However, neuropathic pain responds poorly to common analgesics. Diagnosis, evaluation and early management of neuropathic pain are a priority in order to avoid their chronicization, to improve the quality of life of patients with breast cancer and to enable them to return to work quickly.

We therefore assume that the diagnosis of early neuropathic pain at 2 months of surgery associated with initiation of appropriate topical treatment without the systemic effects of conventional oral treatments, would reduce the incidence of Chronic neuropathic pain 6 months after surgery.

Condition Breast Cancer Patient
Treatment Capsaicin, Pregabalin
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT03794388
SponsorInstitut Cancerologie de l'Ouest
Last Modified on7 February 2022


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

Male or female who had first breast cancer surgery, regardless of the type of surgery
Age ≥ 18 years
Healthy, non-irritated skin on painful areas to treat
During the inclusion visit to M4 post surgery, neuropathic pain of the breast and / or axillary area corresponding to inter-brachial neuralgia with a DN4≥4 score
Obtaining the signed written consent of the patient
Major patient affiliated to a social security scheme

Exclusion Criteria

Contraindications specific to the treatments studied : capsaicine and pregabalin
Diabetic patient
Previous treatment with capsaicin or pregabalin
Opioid treatment> 80 mg / day (oral morphine equivalent) in progress- Topical treatment of pain between surgery and inclusion visit
Uncontrolled hypertension (systolic blood pressure ≥ 180 mmHg or diastolic blood pressure ≥ 90 mmHg) or recent history (<3 months) of cardiovascular events (stroke, heart attack, pulmonary embolism)
Creatinine clearance (CLcr) <60mL / min according to the Cockcroft-Gault formula
Pregnant woman, likely to be pregnant or breastfeeding
Persons deprived of their liberty or guardianship (including curators)
Impossibility of submitting to the medical follow-up of the test for geographical, social or psychological reasons
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