A trial of scrambler therapy in the treatment of cancer pain syndromes and chronic chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy

Patrick J. Coyne, Wen Wan, Patricia Dodson, Craig Swainey, Thomas J. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Neuropathic pain is common among cancer patients and often difficult to treat. This study used Scrambler therapy, a patient-specific electrocutaneous nerve stimulation device, to treat cancer patients with pain. Patients received Scrambler therapy for 10 sessions (one daily) over a two-week period. The primary outcome was changed in pain numerical rating scale (NRS) at one month; secondary outcomes were changes in the Brief Pain Inventory and European Organization for Treatment and Cancer QLC-CIPN-20(EORTC CIPN-20), over time. Thirty-nine patients, mean age 56.5 yr, 16 men and 23 women, were treated over an 18-month period for an average of 9.3 days each. The "now" pain scores reduced from 6.6 before treatment to 4.5 at 14 days, 4.6, 4.8, and 4.6 at 1, 2, and 3 months, respectively (p < 0.001). Clinically important and statistically significant improvements were seen in average, least, and worst pain; BPI interference with life scores, and motor and sensory scales on the EORTC CIPN-20. No adverse effects were observed. In this single arm trial, Scrambler therapy appeared to relieve cancer-associated chronic neuropathic pain both acutely and chronically, and provided sustained improvements in many indicators of quality of life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)359-364
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Pain and Palliative Care Pharmacotherapy
Volume27
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2013

Keywords

  • Analgesics
  • Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy
  • Chronic neuropathic pain
  • Electroanalgesia
  • Refractory pain
  • Scrambler therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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