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      Celiac Plexus Block After Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy Improves Pain Relief in Locally Advanced Pancreatic Cancer

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          This study evaluated the analgesic effect of stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) in combination with celiac plexus block (CPB), relative to SBRT alone, in locally advanced pancreatic cancer (LAPC) patients.

          Patients and Methods

          We reviewed medical records of all patients with LAPC, who received SBRT between 1 January 2017 to 31 August 2019 at our center. The average numeric rating scale (NRS) of ≥3 was used in all patients at admission. We recorded average and worst NRS in a 24-hour period, and daily narcotic doses before SBRT, followed by weekly for 1 month and monthly for 3 months.


          A total of 23 patients in the SBRT group and 12 under SBRT+CPB who met the inclusion criteria were enrolled. All patients in the SBRT+CPB group received CPB within 10 days after SBRT. Pain intensity and narcotic consumption were comparable in both groups at initial assessment. However, a significant decrease ( P < 0.05) in average NRS was recorded in the SBRT+CPB group relative to SBRT at 2, 3 and 4 weeks after SBRT. A comparison of daily narcotic consumption with baseline values showed a significant decrease in the SBRT+CPB group at 3 and 4 weeks after SBRT ( P < 0.05), while no significant differences were observed in the SBRT group.


          CPB after SBRT appears to be an effective therapeutic option in patients with LAPC and warrants further evaluation with increased number of patients in prospective clinical trials.

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          Most cited references 16

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          Phase 2 Multi-institutional Trial Evaluating Gemcitabine and Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy for Patients With Locally Advanced Unresectable Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma

          BACKGROUND This phase 2 multi-institutional study was designed to determine whether gemcitabine (GEM) with fractionated stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) results in acceptable late grade 2 to 4 gastrointestinal toxicity when compared with a prior trial of GEM with single-fraction SBRT in patients with locally advanced pancreatic cancer (LAPC). METHODS A total of 49 patients with LAPC received up to 3 doses of GEM (1000 mg/m2) followed by a 1-week break and SBRT (33.0 gray [Gy] in 5 fractions). After SBRT, patients continued to receive GEM until disease progression or toxicity. Toxicity was assessed using the National Cancer Institute Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events [version 4.0] and the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group radiation morbidity scoring criteria. Patients completed the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire (QLQ-C30) and pancreatic cancer-specific QLQ-PAN26 module before SBRT and at 4 weeks and 4 months after SBRT. RESULTS The median follow-up was 13.9 months (range, 3.9–45.2 months). The median age of the patients was 67 years and 84% had tumors of the pancreatic head. Rates of acute and late (primary endpoint) grade ≥2 gastritis, fistula, enteritis, or ulcer toxicities were 2% and 11%, respectively. QLQ-C30 global quality of life scores remained stable from baseline to after SBRT (67 at baseline, median change of 0 at both follow-ups; P>.05 for both). Patients reported a significant improvement in pancreatic pain (P =.001) 4 weeks after SBRT on the QLQ-PAN26 questionnaire. The median plasma carbohydrate antigen 19-9 (CA 19-9) level was reduced after SBRT (median time after SBRT, 4.2 weeks; 220 U/mL vs 62 U/mL [P<.001]). The median overall survival was 13.9 months (95% confidence interval, 10.2 months-16.7 months). Freedom from local disease progression at 1 year was 78%. Four patients (8%) underwent margin-negative and lymph node-negative surgical resections. CONCLUSIONS Fractionated SBRT with GEM results in minimal acute and late gastrointestinal toxicity. Future studies should incorporate SBRT with more aggressive multiagent chemotherapy.
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            Effect of neurolytic celiac plexus block on pain relief, quality of life, and survival in patients with unresectable pancreatic cancer: a randomized controlled trial.

            Pancreatic cancer is an aggressive tumor associated with high mortality. Optimal pain control may improve quality of life (QOL) for these patients. To test the hypothesis that neurolytic celiac plexus block (NCPB) vs opioids alone improves pain relief, QOL, and survival in patients with unresectable pancreatic cancer. Double-blind, randomized clinical trial conducted at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Enrolled (October 1997 and January 2001) were 100 eligible patients with unresectable pancreatic cancer experiencing pain. Patients were followed up for at least 1 year or until death. Patients were randomly assigned to receive either NCPB or systemic analgesic therapy alone with a sham injection. All patients could receive additional opioids managed by a clinician blinded to the treatment assignment. Pain intensity (0-10 numerical rating scale), QOL, opioid consumption and related adverse effects, and survival time were assessed weekly by a blinded observer. Mean (SD) baseline pain was 4.4 (1.7) for NCPB vs 4.1 (1.8) for opioids alone. The first week after randomization, pain intensity and QOL scores were improved (pain intensity, P .10), and QOL (P =.46) were not significantly different between groups. In the first 6 weeks, fewer NCPB patients reported moderate or severe pain (pain intensity rating of > or =5/10) vs opioid-only patients (14% vs 40%, P =.005). At 1 year, 16% of NCPB patients and 6% of opioid-only patients were alive. However, survival did not differ significantly between groups (P =.26, proportional hazards regression). Although NCPB improves pain relief in patients with pancreatic cancer vs optimized systemic analgesic therapy alone, it does not affect QOL or survival.
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              Choosing the unit of measurement counts: the use of oral morphine equivalents in studies of opioid consumption is a useful addition to defined daily doses.

              Defined daily dose (DDD) is the most common measurement unit used in drug consumption studies. The DDD for opioids may not reflect their relative clinical potencies. The aim of this study was to explore whether opioid consumption data may be interpreted differently when adding oral morphine equivalent (OMEQ) dose as a measurement unit compared with using DDD. The equianalgesic ratio of each opioid relative to morphine was tabulated. Data on opioid consumption expressed in DDD were converted to OMEQs using the equianalgesic ratios. The opioid consumption was compared in three different study settings: clinical data from an opioid switching study, trends within one country and a comparison between countries. Using DDD, the opioid consumption in Norway between 2004-2008 increased of 6.7%, while the increase was 23.6% using OMEQ. While DDD/1000 inhabitants/day showed that Sweden had the highest consumption of opioids among the Nordic countries, OMEQ/1000 inhabitants/day showed that Denmark had the highest consumption. In the switching study DDD indicated a reduction in analgesic dosing and OMEQ an increase when switching from WHO step II to III. OMEQ reflects clinical dosing better than DDD, and can give additional insight into opioid consumption when combined with DDD. Using OMEQ can also lead to different conclusions in opioid consumption studies compared with using DDD alone.

                Author and article information

                J Pain Res
                J Pain Res
                Journal of Pain Research
                04 May 2020
                : 13
                : 919-925
                [1 ]Department of Pain Relief, Tianjin Medical University Cancer Institute and Hospital, National Clinical Research Center for Cancer, Key Laboratory of Cancer Prevention and Therapy, Tianjin, and Tianjin’s Clinical Research Center for Cancer , Tianjin, People’s Republic of China
                [2 ]Department of Radiotherapy, Tianjin Medical University Cancer Institute and Hospital, National Clinical Research Center for Cancer, Key Laboratory of Cancer Prevention and Therapy, Tianjin, and Tianjin’s Clinical Research Center for Cancer , Tianjin, People’s Republic of China
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Ping Wang Email wangping@tjmuch.com
                © 2020 Ji et al.

                This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms ( https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php).

                Page count
                Figures: 1, Tables: 3, References: 18, Pages: 7
                Original Research


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