Randomized phase II placebo-controlled study to evaluate the efficacy of topical pure emu oil for joint pain related to adjuvant aromatase inhibitor use in postmenopausal women with early breast cancer: JUST (Joints Under Study)
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© 2017, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany. Purpose: Aromatase inhibitors are standard of care in women with hormone receptor-positive early breast cancer. Published evidence demonstrates that adverse effects may have an impact on drug compliance, with arthralgias being one of the most commonly reported adverse effects. Methods: Eligible patients were postmenopausal women who had experienced arthralgia following initiation of an aromatase inhibitor. Patients who experienced arthralgias following a minimum of a 3-month treatment on the aromatase inhibitor were randomized to emu oil or placebo oil. The primary endpoint was to assess for a reduction in pain as measured by a visual analogue score after 8 weeks of treatment. Results: Seventy-three patients comprised the intent-to-treat population, and there was no statistically significant benefit with use of EO. However, there was a statistically significant improvement in pain (visual analogue score was -1.28; p < 0.001) and Brief Pain Inventory severity score -0.88 (p < 0.001), as well as functional interference (Brief Pain Inventory interference -1.10 (p < 0.001) for the entire population following an 8-week administration of EO or placebo oil. Conclusions: Arthralgias, as a result of aromatase inhibitor use, may be ameliorated by the use of topical oil massaged onto the joint. Further research into interventions for this common side effect is needed.
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