Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Clin Oncol. 2013 Apr 1;31(10):1271-6. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2012.43.6766. Epub 2013 Feb 25.

Effects of melatonin on appetite and other symptoms in patients with advanced cancer and cachexia: a double-blind placebo-controlled trial.

Author information

  • 1The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Prior studies have suggested that melatonin, a frequently used integrative medicine, can attenuate weight loss, anorexia, and fatigue in patients with cancer. These studies were limited by a lack of blinding and absence of placebo controls. The primary purpose of this study was to compare melatonin with placebo for appetite improvement in patients with cancer cachexia.

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

We performed a randomized, double-blind, 28-day trial of melatonin 20 mg versus placebo in patients with advanced lung or GI cancer, appetite scores ≥ 4 on a 0 to 10 scale (10 = worst appetite), and history of weight loss ≥ 5%. Assessments included weight, symptoms by the Edmonton Symptom Assessment Scale, and quality of life by the Functional Assessment of Anorexia/Cachexia Therapy (FAACT) questionnaire. Differences between groups from baseline to day 28 were analyzed using one-sided, two-sample t tests or Wilcoxon two-sample tests. Interim analysis halfway through the trial had a Lan-DeMets monitoring boundary with an O'Brien-Fleming stopping rule. Decision boundaries were to accept the null hypothesis of futility if the test statistic z < 0.39 (P ≥ .348) and reject the null hypothesis if z > 2.54 (P ≤ .0056).

RESULTS:

After interim analysis of 48 patients, the study was closed for futility. There were no significant differences between groups for appetite (P = .78) or other symptoms, weight (P = .17), FAACT score (P = .95), toxicity, or survival from baseline to day 28.

CONCLUSION:

In cachectic patients with advanced cancer, oral melatonin 20 mg at night did not improve appetite, weight, or quality of life compared with placebo.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:

ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00513357.

PMID:
23439759
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3607670
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk