Efficacy of Treatment with Armodafinil for Cancer-Related Fatigue in Patients with High-grade Glioma: A Phase 3 Randomized Clinical Trial

Alyx B. Porter, Heshan Liu, Sadhna Kohli, Jane L. Cerhan, Jeff Sloan, Ryan P. McMurray, Jennifer Le-Rademacher, Charles L. Loprinzi, John L. Villano, Sani H. Kizilbash, Minesh P. Mehta, Kurt A. Jaeckle, Paul D. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Importance: Nearly 96% of patients with high-grade glioma (HGG) report moderate-to-severe fatigue. Armodafinil is a psychostimulant that might help cancer-related fatigue in patients with HGG. Objective: To determine whether armodafinil reduces fatigue in patients with HGG and moderate-to-severe fatigue. Design, Setting, and Participants: In this randomized multicenter, phase 3, double-blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trial, adults with HGG and moderate-to-severe fatigue who were clinically stable at least 4 weeks after completing radiation therapy were randomized to receive armodafinil daily (150 mg or 250 mg) or placebo over 8 weeks. A score of at least 6 out of 10 on severity scale for the brief fatigue inventory scale, with 10 being the worst, was required to suggest moderate-to-severe fatigue. Patients were allowed stable doses of corticosteroids but were excluded if they required increasing amounts of corticosteroids, were receiving some other treatment for fatigue, or had an uncontrolled seizure disorder. The study was conducted from June 2013 to December 15, 2019. Interventions: Patients were randomized to 150 mg of armodafinil, 250 mg of armodafinil, or placebo for a total of 8 weeks with assessments at weeks 4 and 8. Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary outcome was efficacy in treating cancer-related fatigue. Secondary outcomes included safety, neurocognitive function, and quality of life. Patients were evaluated at baseline and at weeks 4 and 8. Efficacy between the placebo and the 2 doses of study drug was determined by an improvement by 2 points on the 0 to 10 brief fatigue inventory scale. Kruskal-Wallis and χ2tests were used and followed by confirmatory analyses. Results: A total of 328 patients were enrolled, of whom 297 had evaluable end point data. Of these, 103 received 150 mg of armodafinil (mean [SD] age, 58.5 [11.9] years; 42 women [40.8%]), 97 250 mg of armodafinil (mean [SD] age, 56.6 [12.5] years; 37 women [38.1%]), and 97 placebo (mean [SD] age, 57.1 [12.5] years; 39 women [40.2%]). There was no difference in the proportion of patients who achieved clinically meaningful fatigue reduction between arms (28% [95% CI 20%-30%] for 150 mg of armodafinil, 28% [95% CI 19%-38%] for 250 mg of armodafinil, and 30% [95% CI 21%-40%] for placebo). There was a statistically significant reduction in global fatigue for corticosteroid users compared with nonusers (-0.7 [95% CI, -1.5 to -0.3] vs -1.7 [95% CI, -2.1 to -1.3]; P <.001). More patients (2 vs 7) reported insomnia with treatment with 250 mg of armodafinil. Conclusions and Relevance: The results of this randomized clinical trial found no meaningful benefit of using treatment with armodafinil to reduce cancer-related fatigue in patients with HGG. Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01781468.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-267
Number of pages9
JournalJAMA Oncology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
publication was supported by the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health under award numbers UG1CA189823 (Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology NCORP grant), UG1CA233178, UG1CA232760, and U10CA180868 (NRG).

Funding Information:
McMurray, and Le-Rademacher reported grants from Mayo Clinic during the conduct of the study. Dr Loprinzi reported grants from the National Cancer Institute during the conduct of the study and personal fees from PledPharma, Disarm Therapeutics, Ashi Kasei, Metys Pharmaceuticals, OnQuality, NKMax, Novartis, HengRui, Osmol Therapeutics, and Gruenthal outside the submitted work. Dr Kizilbash reported grants from the National Institutes of Health during the conduct of the study as well as grants from Orbus Therapeutics, Inc, Apollomics, Inc, Celgene, Wayshine Biopharma, and LOXO Oncology and nonfinancial support from Calithera Biosciences outside the submitted work. Dr Mehta reported personal fees from Karyopharm, Sapience, Zap, Mevion, and Tocagen, service on the board of directors for Oncoceutics Options, and stock in Chimerix outside the submitted work. Dr Brown reported being a contributor to UpToDate outside the submitted work. No other disclosures were reported.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 American Medical Association. All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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