Pilot evaluation of Scrambler therapy for the treatment of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy
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- Pachman, D.R., Weisbrod, B.L., Seisler, D.K. et al. Support Care Cancer (2015) 23: 943. doi:10.1007/s00520-014-2424-8
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Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN), a common side effect of chemotherapy, needs better effective treatments. Preliminary data support the use of Scrambler therapy, a device which treats pain via noninvasive cutaneous electrostimulation, for the treatment of CIPN. The current manuscript reports data from a pilot trial, performed to investigate the effect of Scrambler therapy for the treatment of established CIPN.
Eligible patients had CIPN symptoms of ≥1 month duration with tingling and/or pain ≥4/10 during the prior week. Patients were treated with Scrambler therapy to the affected area(s) for up to ten daily 30-min sessions. Symptoms were monitored using a neuropathy questionnaire consisting of numerical analog scales ranging from 0 to 10, daily before therapy as well as weekly for 10 weeks after therapy. Descriptive summary statistics formed the basis of data analysis.
Thirty-seven patients were enrolled. Twenty-five patients were treated primarily on their lower extremities while 12 were treated primarily on their upper extremities. There was a 53 % reduction in pain score from baseline to day 10; a 44 % reduction in tingling; and a 37 % reduction in numbness. Benefit appeared to last throughout 10 weeks of follow-up. There were no substantial adverse events.
Preliminary data support that Scrambler therapy may be effective for the treatment of CIPN: a prospective placebo-controlled clinical trial should be performed.