Opioids and cancer prognosis: a summary of the clinical evidence

Maria F Ramirez, A Gorur, Juan P Cata
Neuroscience Letters 2021 January 19, : 135661
Pain is a common and devastating symptom among cancer patients. It can be caused by the cancer itself or by certain therapies like surgery, radiation or chemotherapy. Opioids are the first line of treatment for moderate to severe cancer-related pain. Opioids alone or in combination with non-opioid analgesics and adjuvant medications are important components for pain management during the perioperative period for cancer patients. Opioids act on the μ-opioid receptor (MOR), which is expressed in cancer cells and non-malignant cells of the tumor microenvironment. Retrospective studies suggest an association between the expression of MOR in cancers and shorter survival. In addition, recent evidence suggests that opium use and prescription opioids can influence clinical oncological outcomes. In this review, we will summarize the clinical evidence regarding the effect of opioid administration and survival in patients with cancer as well as the current evidence involving MOR expression and cancer progression.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Trending Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"