Pilot study of duloxetine for treatment of aromatase inhibitor-associated musculoskeletal symptoms

Breast Oncology Program, University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.
Cancer (Impact Factor: 4.9). 12/2011; 117(24):5469-75. DOI: 10.1002/cncr.26230
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Approximately 50% of postmenopausal women with hormone receptor-positive early stage breast cancer treated with an aromatase inhibitor (AI) develop musculoskeletal symptoms. Standard analgesics are relatively ineffective. Duloxetine is a serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor with proven efficacy for treatment of multiple chronic pain states. The authors investigated the hypothesis that duloxetine is efficacious for treatment of AI-associated musculoskeletal symptoms.
The authors performed a single-arm, open-label phase 2 study of duloxetine in postmenopausal women with breast cancer who developed new or worsening pain after treatment with an AI for at least 2 weeks. Patients were treated with duloxetine for 8 weeks (30 mg for 7 days, then 60 mg daily). The primary endpoint was a 30% decrease in average pain score over 8 weeks, and secondary outcomes included change in average and worst pain, pain interference, depression, sleep quality, and hot flashes. Statistical analysis was done with t tests for paired data.
Twenty-one of 29 evaluable patients (72.4%) achieved at least a 30% decrease in average pain, and 18 of 23 patients (78.3%) who completed protocol-directed treatment continued duloxetine. The mean percentage reduction in average pain severity between baseline and 8 weeks was 60.9% (95% confidence interval [CI], 48.6%-73.1%), and in maximum pain severity it was 59.9% (95% CI, 47.0-72.7%). The most common adverse events were grade 1 or 2 fatigue, xerostomia, nausea, and headache.
Duloxetine appears to be effective and well tolerated for treatment of AI-associated musculoskeletal symptoms. Future randomized, placebo-controlled studies are warranted.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background. Peripheral neuropathy is the dose limiting toxicity of bortezomib in patients with multiple myeloma (MM). Objectives. To examine the safety, feasibility and efficacy of acupuncture in reducing bortezomib-induced peripheral neuropathy (BIPN) symptoms. Methods. Patients with MM experiencing persistent BIPN ≥grade 2 despite adequate medical intervention and discontinuation of bortezomib received 10 acupuncture treatments for 10 weeks (2×/week for 2 weeks, 1×/week for 4 weeks, and then biweekly for 4 weeks). Responses were assessed by the Clinical Total Neuropathy Score (TNSc), Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy/Gynecologic Oncology Group-Neurotoxicity (FACT/GOG-Ntx) questionnaire, and the Neuropathy Pain Scale (NPS). Repeated-measures analysis of variance was used to test for monotonic decline in scores on each of the measures. Serial serum levels of proinflammatory and neurotrophic cytokines were obtained at baseline and weeks 1, 2, 4, 8, and 14. Results. Twenty-seven patients with MM were enrolled in the trial. There were no adverse events associated with the acupuncture treatments. TNSc data were deemed invalid and therefore were not reported. At weeks 10 and 14, FACT/GOG-Ntx and NPS showed significant reduction suggesting decreased pain, and improved function (P values were <.0001 for both FACT/GOG-Ntx and NPS at weeks 10 and 14). However, nerve conduction studies did not significantly change between baseline assessment and end of study. There was no correlation in serum cytokines for responders versus none responders. Conclusions. Acupuncture is safe, feasible and produces subjective improvements in patients' symptoms. A follow-up randomized controlled trial is warranted.
    Integrative Cancer Therapies 05/2014; 13(5). DOI:10.1177/1534735414534729 · 2.01 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Aromatase inhibitor (AI) therapy for estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer is known to induce or enhance musculoskeletal problems. We have previously reported that loss of grip strength is more pronounced in AI-users with extremes in BMI. We here report results from a larger prospective study. Postmenopausal early breast cancer patients scheduled to start AI or tamoxifen therapy were recruited. A functional assessment grip strength test was performed at baseline, 3, 6, and 12 months of therapy. BMI was assessed, and a rheumatologic questionnaire was completed at each visit. 188 patients on an AI and 104 patients on tamoxifen were enrolled. 74 % of AI-users reported new/worsened musculoskeletal complaints compared with 37 % in the tamoxifen group. This was translated in a larger grip strength decrease in patients experiencing AI-induced pain opposed to patients without new/worsened complaints (p = 0.0002). 15 % of AI-users discontinued therapy due to musculoskeletal symptoms, who were characterized by a larger grip strength reduction versus adherent patients (p = 0.0107). Young age (p = 0.0135), taxane-based chemotherapy (p = 0.0223), and baseline VAS score >4 (p = 0.0155) were predictors for AI-related musculoskeletal pain. In addition, a quadratic trend of BMI with grip strength change (p = 0.0090) and probability of discontinuation was observed (p = 0.0424). Musculoskeletal events were a substantial problem in AI-treated patients and an important reason for treatment discontinuation. The decrease in grip strength was larger in AI- than in tamoxifen-users, with a more pronounced change in symptomatic patients. The inverse relationship between BMI extremes and grip strength change was confirmed in this large group of AI-patients.
    Breast Cancer Research and Treatment 05/2014; 146(1). DOI:10.1007/s10549-014-2986-7 · 4.20 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Aromatase inhibitors (AIs) are widely used as an adjuvant endocrine treatment in postmenopausal women with early-stage breast cancer. One of the main adverse effects of AIs is musculoskeletal symptoms, which leads to a lower quality of life and poor adherence to AI treatment. To date, no effective management of aromatase inhibitor-associated musculoskeletal symptoms (AIMSS) has been developed.Methods/design: To determine whether the traditional Chinese medicine Yi Shen Jian Gu granules could effectively manage AIMSS we will conduct a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Patients experiencing musculoskeletal symptoms after taking AIs will be enrolled and treated with traditional Chinese medicine or placebo for 12 weeks. The primary outcome measures include Brief Pain Inventory-Short Form, Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index, and Modified Score for the Assessment of Chronic Rheumatoid Affections of the Hands, which will be obtained at baseline and at 4, 8, 12 and 24 weeks.
    Trials 05/2014; 15(1):171. DOI:10.1186/1745-6215-15-171 · 2.12 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

Available from
Jan 4, 2015