Supportive Care in Cancer

, Volume 24, Issue 4, pp 1649–1654 | Cite as

Pilot evaluation of scrambler therapy for pain induced by bone and visceral metastases and refractory to standard therapies

  • Paolo Notaro
  • Carlo Alberto Dell’Agnola
  • Alessandro J Dell’Agnola
  • Alessio Amatu
  • Katia Bruna Bencardino
  • Salvatore Siena
Original Article

Abstract

Purpose

Scrambler therapy is a non-invasive neurocutaneous electrical pain intervention, effective for the treatment of neuropathic pain. Currently, few data about the efficacy of this treatment in cancer pain induced by skeletal and visceral metastases are available. The aim of this single-center case series is to evaluate the efficacy of scrambler therapy in reducing this kind of cancer pain after failure of standard treatments, including pharmacological therapies and radiation therapy.

Methods

Twenty-five consecutive patients underwent scrambler therapy individually delivered by MC5-A Calmare for 10 daily sessions each of 30–40 min. Pain was measured by a numeric rating scale at baseline, as well as before and after each treatment session.

Results

One hundred percent of patients reached a pain relief ≥50 %. Pain score was reduced from 8.4 at baseline to 2.9 after treatment, with a mean pain relief of 89 %. The sleeping hours improved from 4.4 ± 1.2 to 7.5 ± 1.1. The duration of pain control by scrambler therapy was 7.7 ± 5.3 weeks. No adverse events were observed.

Conclusion

Scrambler therapy does not present toxicity and allows opioids dosage reduction, and it is also a repeatable treatment. Present novel data support that scrambler therapy seems to be effective for the treatment of cancer pain. Further evaluation in randomized and controlled clinical trials should be performed to confirm our findings.

Keywords

Scrambler therapy Untreatable cancer pain Metastatic bone and visceral pain Electroanalgesia Calmare® 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paolo Notaro
    • 1
    • 3
  • Carlo Alberto Dell’Agnola
    • 1
  • Alessandro J Dell’Agnola
    • 1
  • Alessio Amatu
    • 2
  • Katia Bruna Bencardino
    • 2
  • Salvatore Siena
    • 2
  1. 1.Pain Medicine, Dipartimento di Anestesiologia- Ospedale Niguarda Ca’ GrandaMilanoItaly
  2. 2.Dipartimento di Ematologia e OncologiaNiguarda Cancer Center, Ospedale Niguarda Ca’ GrandaMilanoItaly
  3. 3.Dipartimento di Terapia del doloreOspedale Niguarda Ca’ GrandaMilanoItaly

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