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Oliveira K.G.,Federal University of Espirito Santo | von Zeidler S.V.,Federal University of Espirito Santo | Lamas A.Z.,Federal University of Espirito Santo | de Podesta J.R.V.,Hospital Santa Rita de Cassia | And 6 more authors.
Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research | Year: 2014

Pain is a common symptom in patients with cancer, including those with head and neck cancer (HNC). While studies suggest an association between chronic inflammation and pain, levels of inflammatory cytokines, such as C-reactive protein (CRP) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), have not been correlated with pain in HNC patients who are not currently undergoing anticancer treatment. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between these inflammatory markers and perceived pain in HNC patients prior to anticancer therapy. The study group consisted of 127 HNC patients and 9 healthy controls. Pain was assessed using the Brief Pain Inventory (BPI), and serum levels of CRP and TNF-a were determined using the particle-enhanced turbidimetric immunoassay (PETIA) and ELISA techniques, respectively. Patients experiencing pain had significantly higher levels of CRP (P<0.01) and TNF-α (P<0.05) compared with controls and with patients reporting no pain. There were significantly positive associations between pain, CRP level, and tumor stage. This is the first study to report a positive association between perceived pain and CRP in HNC patients at the time of diagnosis. The current findings suggest important associations between pain and inflammatory processes in HNC patients, with potential implications for future treatment strategies.

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