Pilot evaluation of Scrambler therapy for the treatment of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy

Deirdre R. Pachman, Breanna L. Weisbrod, Drew K. Seisler, Debra L. Barton, Kelliann C. Fee-Schroeder, Thomas J. Smith, Daniel H. Lachance, Heshan Liu, Randy A. Shelerud, Andrea L. Cheville, Charles L. Loprinzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Purpose: Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN), a common side effect of chemotherapy, needs better effective treatments. Preliminary data support the use of Scrambler therapy, a device which treats pain via noninvasive cutaneous electrostimulation, for the treatment of CIPN. The current manuscript reports data from a pilot trial, performed to investigate the effect of Scrambler therapy for the treatment of established CIPN. Methods: Eligible patients had CIPN symptoms of ≥1 month duration with tingling and/or pain ≥4/10 during the prior week. Patients were treated with Scrambler therapy to the affected area(s) for up to ten daily 30-min sessions. Symptoms were monitored using a neuropathy questionnaire consisting of numerical analog scales ranging from 0 to 10, daily before therapy as well as weekly for 10 weeks after therapy. Descriptive summary statistics formed the basis of data analysis. Results: Thirty-seven patients were enrolled. Twenty-five patients were treated primarily on their lower extremities while 12 were treated primarily on their upper extremities. There was a 53 % reduction in pain score from baseline to day 10; a 44 % reduction in tingling; and a 37 % reduction in numbness. Benefit appeared to last throughout 10 weeks of follow-up. There were no substantial adverse events. Conclusion: Preliminary data support that Scrambler therapy may be effective for the treatment of CIPN: a prospective placebo-controlled clinical trial should be performed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)943-951
Number of pages9
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


  • Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy
  • Electroanalgesia
  • Scrambler therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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