Another Calmare Therapy clinical trial, conducted with people battling neuropathic pain as a result of chemotherapy treatment, has again shown positive patient outcomes (significant lessening of pain) according to a new report published this week by Medscape, an affiliate of WebMD. (You have to register to read the article, but the process is free, quick and easy).
Calmare Trial Key Points / Excerpts:
- Scrambler therapy was not originally developed for the treatment of cancer-related neuropathic pain. Rather, it was developed for chronic pain and, indeed, has been used in many patients with noncancer-related pain, including low back pain.
- Regardless of the type of neuropathic pain being treated, scores on the 11-point Numerical Rating Scale (NRS) decreased significantly from baseline to 1-month follow-up (P < .001).
- The need for ‘rescue opioids’ dropped from a baseline dose of 5 mg to 0 mg at the end of the study.
- No adverse side effects (“events”) that could have been associated with the therapy were reported.
- A research team from the Massey Cancer Center at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond reported similar findings using the same cutaneous electro-stimulation device (scrambler therapy) for CIPN (J Pain Symptom Manage. 2010;40:883-891).
- Some patients relapsed, but re-treatment and maintenance therapy (booster treatments) provided relief and, again, no adverse effects from treatment were observed.
- Charles Loprinzi, MD, PhD, from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and colleagues conducted a trial with 37 CIPN patients and achieved similar study outcomes (Support Care Cancer. 2015 23:943-951).
- Dr. Loprinzi stated that people have been slow to explore scrambler therapy use because “it sounds too good to be true…” He also reported to Medscape that efforts to conduct larger trials are ongoing, but it takes time and money to perform these trials.