Last year in the UK over 60,000 cancer patients enrolled on clinical trials aimed at improving cancer treatments and making them available to all.
A trial looking at treatment for extreme tiredness and exhaustion in people with advanced lung cancer
This trial looked at a drug called modafinil for extreme tiredness and exhaustion (fatigue) in people with advanced non small cell lung cancer.
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 (
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 (
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.
Dr Bee Wee
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer
National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) Supportive and Palliative Care (SuPaC)
Sobell House Hospice Charity
University of Oxford