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Efficacy of Low Analgesic Doses of Ketamine Associated With Opioids in Refractory Cancer Pain Treatment

Information source: Assistance Publique - H˘pitaux de Paris
ClinicalTrials.gov processed this data on August 23, 2015
Link to the current ClinicalTrials.gov record.

Condition(s) targeted: Pain

Intervention: Ketamine (Drug); NaCl (Drug)

Phase: Phase 3

Status: Completed

Sponsored by: Assistance Publique - H˘pitaux de Paris

Official(s) and/or principal investigator(s):
Sylvie ROSTAING-RIGATTIERI, MD, Principal Investigator, Affiliation: Center of Evaluation and Treatment of the pain - Saint-Antoine Hospital


Long-term opioid therapy is commonly administered for the management of severe cancer pain. Increasing doses of opioids are titrated against effects until analgesia is achieved or intolerable adverse effects occur. Ketamine, an N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist, has been reported to improve analgesia in patients with uncontrolled pain receiving high doses of opioids. This study aims at determining the effectiveness of ketamine as an adjuvant to opioids in relieving cancer pain.

Clinical Details

Official title: Study of the Efficiency of the Ketamine With Low Analgesic Doses, in Association With High Opioids, in the Treatment of the Rebels Pains, in Palliative Phase of the Cancerous Disease

Study design: Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Caregiver, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor), Primary Purpose: Treatment

Primary outcome: The percentage of reduction of the daily average score of painful intensity after 4 days of treatment (to J4), with regard to the basic value to J0

Secondary outcome:

Patient Global Impression of Change/ Clinical Global Impression of Change

Daily sleep interference score

Patient satisfaction of pain relief

Opioids consumption

Evaluate the adverse effects of opioids-ketamine association versus opioids-placebo

Detailed description: Main objective: To show that low analgesic doses of ketamine in intravenous infusion during 4 days associated with opioids better relieve refractory cancer pain than opioids without ketamine. This study is a prospective study, multicenter (11 centres), consisting of 3 phases:

- a randomized controlled double blind phase of 5 days with 2 parallel groups of 38

patients each : ketamine (in association with high opioids), in intravenous injection during 4 days, versus placebo (in association with high opioids), in intravenous injection during 4 days ;

- an open-label phase of maximum 4 days, during which the ketamine Panpharma® is

administered in intravenous infusion to the hospitalized patients who are still having uncontrolled pain persisting or recurrent ;

- an observational phase : starting at the discharge of the patient, of a maximal period

of 6 months. The inclusion period is during 18 months, the total duration of the study is 2 years. 76 patients are expected: 38 will be treated with opioids and ketamine; 38 will be treated with opioids and a placebo. Success is defined by a decrease of the daily pain score of 50 % after 4 days. The expected rate of success in the placebo group is 10 % whereas the expected rate of success in the ketamine group is 30 %. Primary outcome (pain score on a 11-point numerical scale) will be evaluated everyday as well as secondary outcomes (patient and clinician global impression of change, opioid consumption, adverse reactions, patient satisfaction on pain relief, sleep interference score). Vital parameters (cardiac frequency, respiratory frequency and arterial blood pressure) will be checked everyday, many times a day : every hour for the four hours after the beginning of the treatment and then, every four hours ; every hour for the two hours following a dose shift).


Minimum age: 18 Years. Maximum age: N/A. Gender(s): Both.


Inclusion Criteria:

- Hospitalized cancer patients (informed and conscious of the cancer diagnostic)

- Undergoing opioid treatment for 15 days at least

- Refractory pain (score higher than 5 on an 10-point numerical pain rating scale)

- Ability to score pain on a numerical pain rating scale

- Patient written agreement

Exclusion Criteria:

- Ketamine contraindications

- Methadone or other NMDA-antagonist treatment

- Karnofsky index under 10

- Pregnancy

Locations and Contacts

Center of Evaluation and Treatment of the pain - Saint-Antoine Hospital, Paris, Ile de France 75012, France
Additional Information

Related publications:


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Starting date: July 2011
Last updated: August 6, 2013

Page last updated: August 23, 2015

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