Pilot evaluation of a stellate ganglion block for the treatment of hot flashes

Deirdre R. Pachman, Debra Barton, Paul E. Carns, Paul J. Novotny, Sherry Wolf, Breanna Linquist, Sadhna Kohli, Deanne R. Smith, Charles L. Loprinzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Purpose Hot flashes are a significant problem in breast cancer patients, especially because the most effective therapy, estrogen, is often contraindicated. Based on recent pilot data from a single group supporting the use of a stellate ganglion block for the treatment of hot flashes, the present pilot trial was done to further evaluate the hypothesis that a stellate ganglion block may be a safe and effective therapy for hot flashes. Methods In women with breast cancer who had hot flashes, a stellate ganglion block was performed after 1 week of baseline hot flash data collection. The main efficacy measures were the changes from baseline in hot flash frequency and hot flash score during the 6th week. Results Ten patients were enrolled between 4/23/2009 and 7/10/2009; eight patients were evaluable. After the stellate ganglion block, the mean hot flash frequency and score decreased from baseline values by over 60% during some of the post-treatment weeks. The mean hot flash frequency and score at week 6 decreased from baseline values by 44% and 45%, respectively. There were no significant adverse events clearly attributed to the stellate ganglion blocks. Conclusions The results of this pilot trial support that stellate ganglion blocks may be a helpful therapy for hot flashes. A prospective placebo-controlled clinical trial should be done to more definitively determine this contention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)941-947
Number of pages7
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2011


  • Hot flashes
  • Nonhormonal therapy
  • Stellate ganglion block
  • Vasomotor symptoms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


Dive into the research topics of 'Pilot evaluation of a stellate ganglion block for the treatment of hot flashes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this