Inter-patient variability in response to opioids is well known but a comprehensive definition of its pathophysiological mechanism is still lacking and, more importantly, no studies have focused on children. The STOP Pain project aimed to evaluate the risk factors that contribute to clinical response and adverse drug reactions to opioids by means of a systematic review and a clinical investigation on paediatric oncological patients.
We conducted a systematic literature search in EMBASE and PubMed up to the 24th of November 2016 following Cochrane Handbook and PRISMA guidelines. Two independent reviewers screened titles and abstracts along with full-text papers; disagreements were resolved by discussion with two other independent reviewers. We used a data extraction form to provide details of the included studies, and conducted quality assessment using the Quality Assessment Tool for Observational Cohort and Cross-Sectional Studies.
Young age, lung or gastrointestinal cancer, neuropathic or breakthrough pain and anxiety or sleep disturbance were associated to a worse response to opioid analgesia. No clear association was identified in literature regarding gender, ethnicity, weight, presence of metastases, biochemical or hematological factors. Studies in children were lacking. Between June 2011 and April 2014, the Italian STOP Pain project enrolled 87 paediatric cancer patients under treatment with opioids (morphine, codeine, oxycodone, fentanyl and tramadol).
Future studies on cancer pain should be designed with consideration for the highlighted factors to enhance our understanding of opioid non-response and safety. Studies in children are mandatory.
Articolo di riferimento
A systematic review of the risk factors for clinical response to opioids for all-age patients with cancer-related pain and presentation of the paediatric STOP pain study. Lucenteforte E, Vagnoli L, Pugi A, Crescioli G, Lombardi N, Bonaiuti R, Aricò M, Giglio S, Messeri A, Mugelli A, Vannacci A, Maggini V. BMC Cancer. 2018 May 18;18(1):568. doi: 10.1186/s12885-018-4478-3.