(ChemotherapyAdvisor) – Scrambler therapy, a device that treats pain via noninvasive cutaneous electrostimulation, is beneficial for the treatment of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN), according to results of a pilot study presented during the International Symposium on Supportive Care in Cancer, New York, NY, June 28-30, 2012.

CIPN, a common dose-limiting side effect of chemotherapy, has no known effective interventions.

Deirdre R. Pachman, MD, of the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, and colleagues assessed the benefit of Scrambler therapy on 11 patients who had symptoms of CIPN for at least 1 month and tingling or pain rated as 4 on a scale of 10 during the prior week. Pain, tingling, and numbness were assessed at baseline and following Scrambler therapy, which was administered for up to 10 daily, 30-minute sessions. Symptoms of neuropathy were monitored daily during therapy using a numerical analogue scale questionnaire.

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Percent change in mean pain was -48% and worst pain, -36%; reductions were also observed for mean tingling (-41%) and worst tingling (-43%) and for mean numbness (-21%) and worst numbness (-28%). She noted that persistent benefit out to 5 weeks was observed in some patients and no adverse events were reported.

“A prospective placebo-controlled clinical trial should be performed to confirm these preliminary findings,” Dr. Pachman concluded.