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      Multiple effectiveness aspects of tapentadol for moderate–severe cancer-pain treatment: an observational prospective study

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          Previous studies have shown the efficacy of tapentadol (TP) for chronic cancer pain. We evaluated multiple effectiveness aspects of TP prolonged release on moderate–severe cancer-related pain, neuropathic pain (NeP), patient satisfaction, and quality of life.


          An observational prospective study was conducted on 80 cancer patients. Opioid-naïve patients received a starting dose of prolonged-release TP 50 mg twice daily, and opioid-experienced patients were switched to TP, not to exceed 500 mg/day. Treatment response was evaluated at 3, 6, 30–40, and 60–70 days through response rate, numeric rating-scale scoring, survival analysis (time to event for response), pain-intensity difference, TP escalation-index percentage, and effects on NeP. The drug-sparing effect on concomitant therapies was evaluated.


          Seventy of 80 patients (88%) were responders to treatment (95% CI 78%–94%). Compared to T 0, pain-intensity reductions were statistically significant for all intervals ( P<0.01), with better results at T 3/T 4. NeP was significantly reduced at T 4 ( P<0.01). The probability of response was low at the initial stages and increased during the study. Pain-intensity differences decreased during the study, though without significance. Two patients (2.5%) left the study for TP-induced side effects. A significant improvement in quality of life was observed after 30–40 days ( P<0.01). The majority of patients were “satisfied”, “very satisfied”, or “extremely satisfied” (T 3–T 4).


          TP was effective in terms of drug-sparing effect, response rate, TP escalation-index percentage, and NeP management. By comparing data from the survival analysis with the response rate and time to response (numeric rating scale from T 0 to T 4), we found that although TP induced a quick response, a longer period of therapy and higher doses were needed to improve the positive result.

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          Most cited references 22

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          Use of opioid analgesics in the treatment of cancer pain: evidence-based recommendations from the EAPC.

          Here we provide the updated version of the guidelines of the European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC) on the use of opioids for the treatment of cancer pain. The update was undertaken by the European Palliative Care Research Collaborative. Previous EAPC guidelines were reviewed and compared with other currently available guidelines, and consensus recommendations were created by formal international expert panel. The content of the guidelines was defined according to several topics, each of which was assigned to collaborators who developed systematic literature reviews with a common methodology. The recommendations were developed by a writing committee that combined the evidence derived from the systematic reviews with the panellists' evaluations in a co-authored process, and were endorsed by the EAPC Board of Directors. The guidelines are presented as a list of 16 evidence-based recommendations developed according to the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation system. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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            Validation of World Health Organization Guidelines for cancer pain relief: a 10-year prospective study.

            This paper reports on the experience gained using World Health Organization Guidelines for cancer pain relief over a 10-year period in an anaesthesiology-based pain service associated with a palliative care programme. The course of treatment of 2118 patients was assessed prospectively over a period of 140,478 treatment days. Non-opioid analgesics (WHO step I) were used on 11%, weak opioids (WHO step II) on 31% and strong opioids (WHO step III) on 49% of treatment days. Administration was via the enteral route on 82% and parenterally on 9% of treatment days. On the remaining days, either spinally applied opioids (2%) or other treatments (6%) were utilised. Fifty-six percent of the patients were treated with morphine. Morphine dose escalation was observed in about one-half of the patients being cared for until death, whereas the other half had stable or decreasing doses over the course of treatment. Co-analgesics were administered on 37% of days, most often antidepressants (15%), anticonvulsants (13%) and corticosteroids (13%). Adjuvants to treat symptoms other than pain were prescribed on 79% of days, most commonly laxatives (42%), histamine-2-receptor antagonists (39%) and antiemetics (35%). In addition, palliative antineoplastic treatment was performed in 42%, nerve blocks in 8%, physiotherapy in 5%, psychotherapy in 3% and TENS in 3% of patients. A highly significant pain reduction was achieved within the 1st week of treatment (P < 0.001). Over the whole treatment period, good pain relief was reported in 76%, satisfactory efficacy in 12% and inadequate efficacy in 12% of patients. In the final days of life, 84% rated their pain as moderate or less, while 10% were unable to give a rating. Analgesics remained constantly effective in all 3 steps of the WHO ladder. Other clinical symptoms were likewise significantly reduced at 1 week after initial assessment, with the exception of neuropsychiatric symptoms. During the course of treatment, the latter were the major symptoms on 23% of days, followed by nausea (23%), constipation (23%) and anorexia (20%). Our results emphasise once again the marked efficacy and low rate of complications associated with oral and parenteral analgesic therapy as the mainstay of pain treatment in the palliative care of patients with advanced cancer. Wide dissemination of WHO guidelines among doctors and healthcare workers is thus necessary to effect a clear improvement in the treatment of the many patients suffering from cancer pain in the clinical and home setting.
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              Management of cancer pain: ESMO Clinical Practice Guidelines.


                Author and article information

                J Pain Res
                J Pain Res
                Journal of Pain Research
                Journal of Pain Research
                Dove Medical Press
                24 December 2018
                : 12
                : 117-125
                [1 ]Department of Anesthesia and Pain Medicine, Istituto Nazionale Tumori, IRCCS – Fondazione G Pascale, Naples, Italy, s.bimonte@ 123456istitutotumori.na.it
                [2 ]Thoracic Medical Oncology, Istituto Nazionale Tumori, IRCCS – Fondazione G Pascale, Naples, Italy
                Author notes
                Correspondence: S Bimonte, Department of Anesthesia and Pain Medicine, Istituto Nazionale Tumori, IRCCS – Fondazione G Pascale, Naples, Italy, Tel +39 081 590 3221, Email s.bimonte@ 123456istitutotumori.na.it
                © 2019 Cascella 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.

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