JOURNAL ONKOLOGIE – STUDIE
ERYT Eurythmy Therapy (ERYT) as a Treatment Option for Fatigue in Metastatic Breast Cancer Patients
Indikation (Clinical Trials):
Breast Neoplasms, Fatigue
University of Bern
Breast Cancer Research Foundation
Institute for complementary and integrative medicine
Phone: +41 (0)31 631 81 40
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Phone: +41 (0)31 631 81 43
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Studienlocations (3 von 5)
Cathrin Balmelli, Dr. med.» Ansprechpartner anzeigenSt. Clara Forschung AG
Arnoud Templeton, PD Dr. med.» Ansprechpartner anzeigenUniversity Hospital Bern
Manuela Rabaglio, Dr. med.
Phone: 031 632 70 43
Phone (ext.): +41
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9006 Saint Gallen
Barbara Bolliger, Dr. med.» Ansprechpartner anzeigenBrustzentrum Ostschweiz AG
9016 Saint Gallen
Patrik Weder, Dr. med.» Ansprechpartner anzeigen
Cancer related fatigue (CRF) is the most burdening symptom in breast cancer patients, and
prevalence exceeds 75% in patients with metastatic disease. CRF is described as the symptom
that has the largest impact on quality of life, with negative effects on work, social
activities, and daily activities, and may lead to treatment discontinuation. Currently, there
is no gold standard for the treatment of CRF. Drug therapies are not satisfactory. Since
physical activity is associated with significant reduction in CRF, patients are encouraged to
engage in an at least moderate level of physical activity. However, for many metastatic
breast cancer patients this is too burdensome. Finally, there is some evidence that
non-pharmacological mind-body techniques may be beneficial in reducing CRF, yet the available
data do not allow for final recommendations. Given the high prevalence of CRF and the
substantial distress for patients, advancing treatment options for patients with CRF is
highly desirable. In the present study, patients with metastatic breast cancer will be
randomly assigned to two different non-pharmacological treatments for fatigue: Eurythmy
therapy (ERYT), a standardized active mindful movement therapy, or a movement program without
mindfulness features (CoordiFit). It will be tested, if ERYT has a superior benefit on
fatigue compared to CoordiFit over the period of the intervention (20 weeks). Further, the
benefit of ERYT on quality of life, sleep quality, anxiety, depression, pain, mobility of the
arm, rate of return to work, compliance with ERYT, and targeted metabolomics will be
Both groups will have equal frequency and duration of the training sessions. Each patient
will receive 13 standardized therapy sessions of 45 min (once a week for 6 weeks and once
every second week) during the total period of 20 weeks. The proposed study has been developed
in the Breast Cancer Project Group of the Swiss Group for Clinical Cancer Research (SAKK) and
is supported by many breast centers, because they realize that the patients value
non-pharmacological treatment options and would be keen to participate in such a trial. If
ERYT proves to be beneficial, the impact of this trial will be high and will have
implications not only for metastatic breast cancer patients but also for other cancer
patients, health care personnel, scientists and funding and regulatory bodies.
- Female, aged 18 years or older
- Histologically or cytologically confirmed metastatic breast cancer
- FACIT-F subscale score < 34 (considered as cut-off for a diagnosis of relevant
fatigue; a score < 30 is considered as severe fatigue )
- Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) grade 1 or 2
- Ability to physically and cognitively perform an active movement therapy
- Ability to provide informed consent as documented by signature
- Ability to read, write, and speak German, French, or Italian
- Inability or contraindication that would prevent prolonged follow-up, or to undergo
the investigated intervention or control intervention, in the opinion of the
- Patients with psychiatric, addictive or any disorder that prevents the patient from
adhering to the protocol requirements, in the opinion of the investigator
- Significant uncontrolled cardiac disease (e.g. unstable angina, recent myocardial
- Haemoglobin < 90 g/L
1. Change from baseline in fatigue over the whole intervention (Time Frame - End of the intervention (week 20)):
Fatigue is measured using the Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Fatigue (FACIT-F). FACIT-F consists of the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy - General (FACT-G) plus the fatigue subscale comprising 13 fatigue-related items, with a total of 41 items. The fatigue subscale score is ranging from 8 to 44. A score < 34 is considered as cut-off for a diagnosis of relevant fatigue.
1. Change from baseline in quality of life over the whole intervention (Time Frame - End of the intervention (week 20)):
Quality of life is measured using the Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Fatigue (FACIT-F). FACIT-F consists of the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy - General (FACT-G) plus the fatigue subscale comprising 13 fatigue-related items, with a total of 41 items. The FACT-G subscale score ranges from 0 to 108. The higher the FACT-G subscale score the better the quality of life.
2. Change from baseline in patient's distress over the whole intervention (Time Frame - End of the intervention (week 20)):
Patient's distress is measured using the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Distress thermometer. The NCCN Distress thermometer ranges from 0 to 10, with 10 indicating an extreme distress and 0 indicating no distress.
3. Change from baseline in sleep quality over the whole intervention (Time Frame - End of the intervention (week 20)):
Sleep quality is measured using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI). The PSQI total score of the 9 items ranges from 0 to 21. A score < or = 5 is associated with good sleep quality; a score > 5 is associated with poor sleep quality.
4. Change from baseline in pain over the whole intervention (Time Frame - End of the intervention (week 20)):
Pain is measured using the Brief Pain Inventory (BPI). The BPI assesses pain at its "worst", "least", "average", and "now" (current pain). The four severity items range from 0 ("no pain") to 10 ("pain as bad as you can imagine").
5. Change from baseline in depression over the whole intervention (Time Frame - End of the intervention (week 20)):
Depression is assessed using the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9). The PHQ-9 total score for the nine items ranges from 0 to 27. Scores of 5, 10, 15, and 20 represent cutpoints for mild, moderate, moderately severe, and severe depression, respectively.
6. Change from baseline in anxiety over the whole intervention (Time Frame - End of the intervention (week 20)):
Anxiety disorders are assessed using the General Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7). The GAD-7 total score for the seven items ranges from 0 to 21. Scores of 5, 10, and 15 represent cutpoints for mild, moderate, and severe anxiety, respectively.
- Experimental: Eurythmy therapy (ERYT)
Eurythmy therapy (ERYT) is a standardized movement therapy and for each medical condition standardized ERYT exercise (series) exist. In such, in the present study, the cancer series "O-E-M-L-I-B-D" that is specific and standardized for breast cancer patients will be applied. Patients can perform and maintain the postures without stress and tension. Patients are instructed by ERYT therapists in sessions with 1 to 4 patients.
- Active Comparator: CoordiFit
The CoordiFit program consists of standardized exercises that address physical coordination, stability, balance and dexterity. These exercises serve as a control intervention and are non-specific with respect of cancer-related fatigue and breast cancer. They mimic those of ERYT but have no mindfulness features. Patients are instructed by physical therapists in session with 1 to 4 patients.
- Eurythmy therapy: