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Ketamine Clinical Trials

Efficacy of Ketamine Mouthwash in the Management of Oral and Pharyngeal Toxicity

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Id: NCT05331131

Organisation Name: Northwell Health

Overal Status: Not yet recruiting

Start Date: January 1, 2023

Last Update: November 4, 2022

Lead Sponsor: Bhupesh Parashar, MD

Brief Summary: Patients with head and neck cancer generally receive a standard of care of 7 weeks of daily radiation therapy given alongside an aggressive chemotherapy drug called cisplatin. While rates of cure are often strong for patients who are able to complete treatment without any unscheduled breaks, the rates of high grade toxicity associated with this treatment are high even with the use of the most modern techniques of treatment. Pain, swallowing dysfunction, loss of taste sensation, and ulceration of the mouth and throat are ubiquitous and often contribute to a nutritional breakdown requiring feeding tube placement. Unfortunately, even with aggressive use of opioids and other conventional palliation methods, breakthrough pain and other toxicities are very common. In addition to the quality of life burdens of these side effects, patients who are unable to complete treatment on schedule have worse control of their cancer and worse overall survival.

Clearly, there is a clinical need for better management of these toxicities. The investigators hypothesize that ketamine mouthwash may effectively reduce both pain and the need for opioid drugs in this patient population. There is a large body of literature supporting the use of ketamine for pain control in diseases other than cancer, and a smaller but growing body of literature showing the effectiveness of ketamine for control of cancer-associated pain. Additionally, by providing ketamine in mouthwash form, the evidence shows that one can avoid the side effects associated with giving ketamine throughout the body, and in fact no significant side effects have been reported so far with this treatment.

In this study, the investigators will provide ketamine mouthwash to patients undergoing the standard treatment for this disease over a two week period, and measure their response in terms of both pain and need for opioids, as well as other measurements of quality of life. The investigators will also measure unscheduled interruptions in treatment. In years to come, the data from this study may show an impact on cancer control and survival.

  • Cancer of Head and Neck
  • Mucositis Oral
  • Pharyngeal Mucositis

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