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Papers of the Week

2019 Mar

Oncol Lett



Pain prevalence and treatment in patients with metastatic bone disease.


Vieira C, Fragoso M, Pereira D, Medeiros R
Oncol Lett. 2019 Mar; 17(3):3362-3370.
PMID: 30867771.


The accomplishment of successful pain treatment requires evaluation, characterization and quantification. The present study characterized pain and survival in a cohort of patients with cancer with bone metastasis who were treated with intravenous bisphosphonates. A total of 84 patients self-completed the Brief Pain Inventory (BPI) and 36-Item Short Form Survey (SF-36), between November 2010 and March 2011 with a 5-year survival follow-up as a surrogate marker of cancer burden. The median age was 62 years old (34-85), 64% of patients were female and 58% of these females had breast cancer. In the population, self-reported pain was 91.6%, with 29 patients (34.5%) reporting severe pain (score 7-10). Among these patients, only 13 (44.8%) presented a similar report to that of their clinical files and 5 were undergoing treatment with strong opioids (17.2%). A total of 45 patients (46%) had not been prescribed analgesic drugs, of these patients, 32 were treated with a weak opioid, and 13 with a strong opioid. An association was observed between pain records and the prescribed analgesic (P=0.031). BPI maximum pain and overall survival data were analyzed, and a significant association was identified between male patients presenting severe pain and decreased survival (P=0.004). Male survival was associated with severe pain, which is consistent with other data. The results revealed a skeletal-related events (SRE)-free survival (time elapsed from diagnosis of the first bone metastasis to the first SRE) of 9 months (4.39-13.73, 95% CI) with a statistically significant difference between subgroups of time since diagnosis of bone metastasis (P=0.005). The added value of the present study is the suggestion that complete and accurate pain narratives are mandatory and may contribute to the optimization of analgesia, and may help to increase survival rates. Optimal pain management for patients with cancer remains an urgent requirement.