Quell Improves Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy (CIPN) Symptoms of Cancer Survivors in Feasibility Study

May 24, 2017 • Xuan Kong

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At the annual meeting of American Pain Society (May 17-20, Pittsburgh, PA), researchers from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry presented a scientific poster titled “Wearable TENs band for chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN): A feasibility study.” The objective of the study was to assess the feasibility of studying the efficacy of using wearable TENS devices like Quell for relieving symptoms associated with CIPN. The Quell® study was led by Dr. Jennifer Gewandter, Assistant Professor, Department of Anesthesiology.

CIPN is a common cause of chronic neuropathic pain among cancer survivors. It is characterized by symptoms that include burning pain, a distorted sense of touch, numbness, tingling, and cramps. CIPN is a common side effect of chemotherapy that may require changes to treatment protocol and can significantly impact the quality of life of many cancer survivors. About one-third of patients will develop chronic CIPN 6 months or more after the end of chemotherapy,

All subjects had clinical diagnosis of CIPN and reported at least one of the following symptoms with a score of 4 or higher (out of 10, 10 being the worst possible): pain, numbness, tingling, or cramping. They all have completed chemotherapy at least three months prior to the start of the feasibility study. During the six-week study period, subjects were asked to keep a daily diary of their worst and average scores for pain, numbness, tingling, and cramping with 0 for no symptom and 10 for the worst possible symptom.

For the 11 subjects who completed the six-week study, their average worst pain score was reduced by 28% (from 6.0 at baseline to 4.3 at the end of six-week). Worst tingling sensation score was lowered by 35% and worst score for numbness decreased by 26% on average after six weeks. Seven of the 11 subjects reported cramping at the baseline and their worst cramping score was cut by more than half (51%) on average at the end of the six-week study.

Eight out the 11 subjects elected to continue use of their Quell wearable pain relief device after the study was formally completed.

At the end of six-week study, Dr. Gewandter also conducted interviews with each study subject. Their qualitative feedback on Quell’s benefits include:

  • “It helps with pain, swelling, … everything”
  • “It’s like a drug to me. You can use it at home, work, or on vacation”
  • “[Quell] band is easier to remember than taking pills”
  • “Cramps in hands and feet are gone”

The feasibility study results provide Dr. Gewandter and her colleagues at the University of Rochester with useful data for planning future clinical studies.

NeuroMetrix is looking forward to learning more from this and future studies on how the Quell system can help patients like those in the feasibility study and how the Quell system can be further optimized to improve the quality of life of chronic pain sufferers.

About The Author
Xuan Kong
Xuan Kong

Dr. Kong joined the company in 1999. In his role of Chief Data Scientist, he leads the company’s data science initiative by leveraging the data assets collected from Company’s products to deliver personalized and clinically optimized pain relief and health experience for customers. In addition, he provides leadership and technology contributions for the Company's basic research and product development functions. Xuan also manages the Company's intellectual property portfolio.

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