- To determine if electrostimulation using the Liss stimulator can objectively improve salivary flow as measured by sialometry compared to a placebo device in patients with chronic radiation-induced xerostomia and head and neck cancer.
- To determine if electrostimulation using the Liss Stimulator can improve the subjective sensation of mouth dryness compared to a placebo device.
- To characterize the effect of electrostimulation using the Liss stimulator on quality of life compared to a placebo device.
OUTLINE: Patients are randomized to 1 of 2 treatment arms.
- Arm I: Patients undergo placement of electrodes to the following acupuncture points: stomach, liver, pericardium, small intestine, and large intestine. Patients then undergo electro-stimulation of the acupuncture points using the Liss Stimulator for 20 minutes once a day for 10 days and then 3 times a week for 2 weeks.
- Arm II (placebo): Patients undergo placement of electrodes to the following acupuncture points: stomach, liver, pericardium, small intestine, and large intestine. A device that does not produce an electric current is placed over the electrodes for 20 minutes once a day for 10 days and then 3 times a week for 2 weeks.
Patients complete questionnaires, including the Brief Pain Inventory, the Xerostomia Inventory, and a subscale of the University of Washington Head and Neck Symptom Scale, at baseline, on days 5 and 10 of treatment, and at 1, 3, and 6 months after completion of treatment. Sialometry (unstimulated and stimulated whole saliva measurement) is also performed at the same time points.
After completion of study treatment, patients are followed at 1, 3, and 6 months.
- Diagnosis of primary head and neck cancer
- Has undergone radiotherapy either as primary or adjuvant therapy ≥ 6 months ago
- One or more parotid glands must have been in the prior radiotherapy field
- Residual xerostomia after radiotherapy deemed to be significant by patient
- Failed to respond to a trial of pilocarpine for relief of xerostomia
- ECOG performance status 0-3
- Life expectancy ≥ 1 year (based on physician's judgment)
- Able to attend the scheduled study treatments
- Alert and mentally competent
- Not pregnant
- Willing to use contraception during study treatment, if of childbearing age
- No history of Sjögren's disease
- No cardiac pacemaker or any other electrical devices permanently implanted within the body (e.g., dorsal column stimulator)
PRIOR CONCURRENT THERAPY:
- See Disease Characteristics
- More than 2 weeks since prior medication that may cause mouth dryness (e.g., antihistamines, narcotics, tricyclic antidepressants)
Last updated: 08/10/2011