An Open Label Pilot Trial to Evaluate the Safety and Efficacy of Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in Cancer Patients with Depression

Project: Research project

Project Details


Abstract in Lay Language
Cancer is a leading cause of mortality and morbidity worldwide. In addition, cancer is associated with high
rates of depression and anxiety among its sufferers, and cancer patients with depression usually have worse
treatment outcomes and long-term survival. Surprisingly, many cancer patients with depression do not receive
treatment for their depression, perhaps because treatments for cancer-related depression are usually adapted
from those used in non-cancer populations and may not be suitable for cancer patients. Moreover, cancer
patients with depression are more likely to have a long latency of anti-depressant drug action, negative drugdrug interactions with cancer chemotherapies and an increased susceptibility for systemic side effects.
Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is a new treatment modality for depression that affects the
brain directly with no systemic side effects and poses no potential for drug-drug interactions. rTMS therapy was
recently cleared by the FDA as an antidepressant treatment for treatment-resistant Major Depressive Disorder,
and now is being evaluated for a wide array of additional psychiatric indications. This open label, two-arm, pilot
study will investigate the safety, tolerability, feasibility and the efficacy of two forms of rTMS (i.e., left (fast) and
right (slow) sided rTMS) in cancer-related depression. The study hypotheses are that rTMS will significantly
reduce symptoms of depression as assessed by Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAM-D) and that rightsided slow rTMS will be more effective than left-sided fast rTMS for the treatment of severe anxiety.
Effective start/end date9/1/128/31/14


  • Northwestern Memorial Foundation (Agmt 9/25/12)


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.