A trial looking at treatment for extreme tiredness and exhaustion in people with advanced lung cancer

Cancer type:

Lung cancer
Non small cell lung cancer

Status:

Results

Phase:

Phase 4

This trial looked at a drug called modafinil for extreme tiredness and exhaustion (fatigue) in people with advanced non small cell lung cancer.

Tiredness (fatigue) is one of the most common symptoms that people with lung cancer have and it can greatly affect their quality of life. Doctors are trying to find ways to help this symptom.

Modafinil is a stimulant drug. It has been used for many years to treat medical conditions that cause people to be very sleepy during the day, such as narcolepsy.

The aim of this trial was to find out how helpful modafinil is in treating fatigue for people with non small cell lung cancer that has spread or come back after treatment.

Summary of results

The trial team found that modafinil is not a useful treatment for extreme tiredness in people with advanced non small cell lung cancer.

208 people took part and

  • Half had modafinil
  • Half had dummy tablets (placebo Open a glossary item)

Everybody took either modafinil or dummy tablets every day for a month.

Of the 208 people who took part, 160 people completed questionnaires before treatment started and after it had finished. Of those,

  • 75 had had modafanil
  • 85 had had dummy tablets

The questionnaires asked them how tired, sleepy or depressed they felt before, during and after the study.

When the study finished, the researchers looked at all the information in the completed questionnaires. They found no difference in the 2 groups in how tired people said they felt. So the researchers concluded that modafinil is not a helpful treatment for tiredness in this group of people.

We have based this summary on information from the team who ran the trial. The information they sent us has been reviewed by independent specialists (peer reviewed Open a glossary item) and published in a medical journal. The figures we quote above were provided by the trial team. We have not analysed the data ourselves.

Recruitment start:

Recruitment end:

How to join a clinical trial

Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Chief Investigator

Dr Bee Wee

Supported by

NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer
National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) Supportive and Palliative Care (SuPaC)
Sobell House Hospice Charity
University of Oxford

Questions about cancer? Contact our information nurses

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:

Oracle 3632

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Around 1 in 5 people take part in clinical trials

3 phases of trials

Around 1 in 5 people diagnosed with cancer in the UK take part in a clinical trial.

Last reviewed:

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