Table 1

Demographic and clinical baseline characteristics of patients

PlaceboMethylphenidateTotalP value
n=45n=55n=100
Sex (n; %)
 Female21 (46)26 (47)47 (47)0.95
 Male24 (53)29 (52)53 (53)
Age (years)
(mean; range)
68 (39–88)66 (38–87)67 (38–88)0.64
Life expectancy
(months; %)
 From 1 to 321 (47)25 (45)46 (46)0.95
 From 4 to 1221 (47)24 (44)45 (45)
 From 13 to 241 (2)3 (5)4 (4)
 More than 240 (0)1 (1.8)1 (1)
 Unknown2 (4)2 (4)4 (4)
Extension of the disease (n; %)
 Local5 (11.1)4 (7.3)9 (9)0.91
 Locoregional3 (6.7)3 (5.5)6 (6)
 Metastasis37 (82.2)47 (85.5)84 (84)
Lost 0 (0)1 (1.8)1 (1)
Karnofsky index (mean; range)70 (40-90)60 (30-80)60 (30-90)0.32
Mini-mental examination
(average score; SD)
28.4 (1.6)28.5 (2.5)28.5 (2.1)0.28
Blood pressure, mm Hg, (mean; SD)
 Systolic118 (18)117 (15)117 (16)0.89
 Diastolic71 (11)72 (11)71 (11)0.65
Heart rate
(mean; SD)
83 (14)83 (14)83 (14)0.86
Haemoglobin (g/L)
(mean; SD)
116 (18)111 (22)113 (21)017
ESAS symptoms*
(mean; SD)
 Pain2.5 (2.6)2.1 (2.1)2.3 (2.3)0.75
 Fatigue7.2 (1.5)7.4 (1.7)7.3 (1.6)0.65
 Drowsiness3.4 (2.8)4.1 (3.2)3.8 (3)0.30
 Nausea1.1 (2.1)1.6 (2.6)1.4 (2.4)0.44
 Appetite5.1 (3.7)5.3 (3.4)5.2 (3.5)0.90
 Dyspnoea1.9 (2.9)1.5 (2.4)1.7 (2.6)0.70
 Depression4.6 (3.4)4.2 (3.1)4.4 (3.2)0.07
 Nervousness3 (3.3)2.3 (2.7)2.6 (3)0.65
 Insomnia3.8 (3.2)2.6 (3)3.1 (3.1)0.07
 Wellness6 (2.6)4.7 (2.4)5.2 (2.6)0.04
 Fatigue—FACT-F (mean; SD)*23.2 (8.4)22.5 (8)22.8 (8.2)0.69
  • Complete data of days 0, 3 and 6.

  • ESAS, Edmonton Symptoms Assessment System; FACT-F, Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Fatigue.