[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Introduction Breast cancer represents about one-third of all cancer diagnoses and accounts for about 15% of cancer deaths in women. Many of these patients experience depression, anxiety, sleep disturbances and cognitive dysfunction. This may adversely affect quality of life and also contribute to morbidity and mortality. Melatonin is a regulatory circadian hormone having, among others, a hypnotic and an antidepressive effect. It has very low toxicity and very few adverse effects compared with the more commonly used antidepressants and hypnotics. Methods and analysis The objective of this double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial is to investigate whether treatment with oral melatonin has a prophylactic or ameliorating effect on depressive symptoms, anxiety, sleep disturbances and cognitive dysfunction in women with breast cancer. Furthermore, the authors will examine whether a specific clock-gene, PER3, is correlated with an increased risk of depressive symptoms, sleep disturbances or cognitive dysfunction. The MELODY trial is a prospective double-blinded, randomised, placebo-controlled trial in which the authors intend to include 260 patients. The primary outcome is depressive symptoms measured by the Major Depression Inventory. The secondary outcomes are anxiety measured by a Visual Analogue Scale, total sleep time, sleep efficiency, sleep latency and periods awake measured by actigraphy and changes in cognitive function measured by a neuropsychological test battery. Tertiary outcomes are fatigue, pain, well-being and sleep quality/quantity measured by Visual Analogue Scale and sleep diary and sleepiness measured by the Karolinska Sleepiness Scale. The PER3 genotype is also to be determined in blood samples.
BMJ Open 01/2012; 2(1):e000647. · 1.58 Impact Factor