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Papers of the Week

Papers: 15 Oct 2022 - 21 Oct 2022

Pharmacology/Drug Development

2022 Oct 19

Sci Rep



Association of KCNJ6 rs2070995 and methadone response for pain management in advanced cancer at end-of-life.


Ozberk D, Haywood A, Sutherland HG, Yu C, Albury CL, Zunk M, George R, Good P, Griffiths LR, Hardy J, Haupt LM
Sci Rep. 2022 Oct 19; 12(1):17422.
PMID: 36261449.


Opioids are the therapeutic agents of choice to manage moderate to severe pain in patients with advanced cancer, however the unpredictable inter-individual response to opioid therapy remains a challenge for clinicians. While studies are few, the KCNJ6 gene is a promising target for investigating genetic factors that contribute to pain and analgesia response. This is the first association study on polymorphisms in KCNJ6 and response to methadone for pain management in advanced cancer. Fifty-four adult patients with advanced cancer were recruited across two study sites in a prospective, open label, dose individualisation study. Significant associations have been previously shown for rs2070995 and opioid response in opioid substitution therapy for heroin addiction and studies in chronic pain, with mixed results seen in postoperative pain. In this study, no associations were shown for rs2070995 and methadone dose or pain score, consistent with other studies conducted in patients receiving opioids for pain in advanced cancer. There are many challenges in conducting studies in advanced cancer with significant attrition and small sample sizes, however it is hoped that the results of our study will contribute to the evidence base and allow for continued development of gene-drug dosing guidelines for clinicians.