Simons JP, Aaronson NK, Vansteenkiste JF, ten Velde GP, Muller MJ, Drenth BM, Erdkamp FL, Cobben EG, Schoon EJ, Smeets JB, Schouten HC, Demedts M, Hillen HF, Blijham GH, Wouters EF.
Department of Pulmonology, University Hospital, Maastricht, the Netherlands.
PURPOSE: To investigate the effects of medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA) on appetite, weight, and quality of life (QL) in patients with advanced-stage, incurable, non-hormone-sensitive cancer. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Two hundred six eligible patients were randomized between double-blind MPA 500 mg twice daily or placebo. Appetite (0 to 10 numerical rating scale), weight, and QL (European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire [EORTC-QLQ-C30]) were assessed before the start of treatment (t = 0), and 6 weeks (t = 6) and 12 weeks (t = 12) thereafter. RESULTS: One hundred thirty-four patients (68 MPA and 66 placebo) were assessable at t = 6 and 99 patients (53 MPA and 46 placebo) at t = 12. A beneficial effect of MPA on appetite was observed after both 6 weeks (P = .008) and 12 weeks (P = .01) of treatment. After 12 weeks, a mean weight gain of 0.6 +/- 4.4 kg was seen in the MPA, versus an ongoing mean weight loss of 1.4 +/- 4.6 kg in the placebo group. This difference of 2.0 kg was statistically significant (P = .04). During the study, several areas of QL deteriorated in the total group of patients. With the exception of an improvement in appetite and possible also a reduction in nausea and vomiting, no measurable beneficial effects of MPA on QL could be demonstrated. The side effects profile of MPA was favorable: only a trend toward an increase in (usually mild) peripheral edema was observed. CONCLUSION: In weight-losing, advanced-stage non-hormone-sensitive cancer patients, MPA exhibits a mild side effects profile, has a beneficial effect on appetite, and may prevent further weight loss. However, general QL in the present study was not measurably influenced by MPA treatment.
Randomized Controlled Trial