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Neuropathic pain in patients with cancer can be difficult to treat effectively. The purpose of the study was to determine safety and efficacy of KRN5500, a novel, spicamycin-derived, nonopioid analgesic agent, in patients with advanced cancer and neuropathic pain of any etiology. The study was a Phase 2a, multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled, dose escalation clinical trial. Patients with refractory neuropathic pain and advanced cancer were randomly assigned 2:1 to receive a maximum of eight single escalating doses of KRN5500 or placebo, ranging from 0.6 to 2.2 mg/m(2). The primary objective was safety and tolerability. The secondary objective was efficacy, measured by change in average pain intensity on a 0-10 numeric rating scale administered one week after the patient's final dose. Nineteen patients received treatment (KRN5500 n=12; placebo n=7). The most frequently reported adverse events were gastrointestinal symptoms, which were more frequent and severe with KRN5500 than placebo; two (17%) KRN5500 patients discontinued the study because of nausea and vomiting. At study endpoint, KRN5500 exhibited a significant median decrease in pain intensity from baseline of 24% compared with 0% for placebo (P=0.03). The median for largest weekly reduction in target pain intensity was 29.5% for KRN5500 and 0% for placebo patients (P=0.02). This proof-of-concept study for KRN5500 in patients with advanced cancer and any type of neuropathic pain found gastrointestinal adverse events to be the predominant safety concern. The results also provided the first indication of clinical and statistical efficacy in reducing pain intensity. Copyright © 2012 U.S. Cancer Pain Relief Committee. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Sharon M Weinstein, Amy P Abernethy, Susan E Spruill, Isadore M Pike, Andrea True Kelly, Linda G Jett. A spicamycin derivative (KRN5500) provides neuropathic pain relief in patients with advanced cancer: a placebo-controlled, proof-of-concept trial. Journal of pain and symptom management. 2012 Apr;43(4):679-93

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PMID: 21983265

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