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Ripamonti C.I.,Supportive Care in Cancer Unit
Annals of Oncology | Year: 2012

Despite published guidelines and educational programs on the assessment and treatment of cancer-related pain, in any stage of oncological disease, unrelieved pain continues to be a substantial worldwide public health concern either in patients with solid and haematological malignancies. The proper and regular self-reporting assessment of pain is the first step for an effective and individualized treatment. Opioids are the mainstay of analgesic therapy and can be associated with non-opioids drugs such as paracetamol or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and to adjuvant drugs (for neuropathic pain and symptom control). The role and the utility of weak opioids (i.e. codeine, dihydrocodeine, tramadol) are a controversy point. Morphine has been placed by World Health Organization on its Essential Drug List. In the comparative study with other strong opioids (hydromorphone, oxycodone), there is no evidence to show superiority or inferiority with morphine as the first choice opioid. Oral methadone is a useful and safe alternative to morphine. Methadone presents the potential to control pain difficult to manage with other opioids. although the oral route of opioid administration is considered the one of choice, intravenous, subcutaneous, rectal, transdermal, sublingual, intranasal, and spinal routes must be used in particular situation. Transdermal opioids such as fentanyl and buprenorphine are best reserved for patients whose opioid requirements are stable. Switching from one opioid to another can improve analgesia and tolerability. © The author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society for Medical Oncology. all rights reserved. Source

Vignaroli E.,Palliative Care Unit | Bennett M.I.,University of Leeds | Nekolaichuk C.,University of Alberta | De Lima L.,International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Palliative Medicine | Year: 2012

The aim of this study was to determine by consensus the components of an opioid essential prescription package (OEPP) to be used when initiating a prescription for the control of moderate to severe chronic pain. Palliative care physicians (n=60) were sampled from the International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care (IAHPC) membership list to represent a range of countries of varying economic levels and diverse geographical regions. Using a Delphi study method, physicians were asked to rank preferences of drug and dosing schedule for first-line opioid, antiemetic, and laxative for the treatment of adults with chronic pain due to cancer and other life-threatening conditions. Overall response rates after two Delphi survey rounds were 95% (n=57) and 82% (n=49), respectively. A consensus (set at ≥75% agreement) was reached to include morphine as first-line opioid at a dose of 5mg orally every 4 hours. Consensus was reached to include metoclopramide as a first-line antiemetic, but there was no consensus on "regular" or "as needed" administration. No consensus was reached regarding a first-line laxative, but a combination of senna and docusate secured 59% agreement. There was consensus (93% agreement) that laxatives should always be given regularly when opioid treatment is started. Further work is needed to establish a recommended dose of metoclopramide and a type and dose of laxative. The resulting OEPP is international in scope and is designed to ensure that opioids are better tolerated by reducing adverse effects of opioids, which could lead to more sustained improvements in pain management. © 2012, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Source

Mirabile A.,Head and Neck Medical Oncology Unit | Airoldi M.,Azienda Ospedaliera Citta Della Salute E Della Science Di Turin | Ripamonti C.,Supportive Care in Cancer Unit | Murphy B.,Vanderbilt University | And 4 more authors.
Critical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology | Year: 2016

Pain in head and neck cancer represents a major issue, before, during and after the oncological treatments. The most frequent cause of pain is chemo/radiation related oral mucositis, which involves 80% of the patients and worsens their quality of life inhibiting speaking, eating, drinking or swallowing and sometimes reducing the treatment compliance, the maximum dose intensity and thus the potential efficacy of treatment. Nevertheless pain is still often under estimated and undertreated. An Italian multidisciplinary group of head and neck cancer specialists met with the aim of reaching a consensus on pain management in this setting. The Delphi Appropriateness method was used for the consensus. External expert reviewers evaluated the final statements. The paper contains 30 consensus-reached statements about pain management in HNC patients and offers a review of recent literature in these topics. © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. Source

Bertoldo F.,University of Verona | Silvestris F.,University of Bari | Ibrahim T.,Osteoncology and Rare Tumors Center | Cognetti F.,Regina Elena Cancer Institute | And 9 more authors.
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Reviews on Cancer | Year: 2014

One of the great challenges of cancer medicine is to develop effective treatments for bone metastatic cancer. Most patients with advanced solid tumors will develop bone metastasis and will suffer from skeletal related events associated with this disease. Although some therapies are available to manage symptoms derived from bone metastases, an effective treatment has not been developed yet.The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway regulates cell growth and survival. Alterations in mTOR signaling have been associated with pathological malignancies, including bone metastatic cancer. Inhibition of mTOR signaling might therefore be a promising alternative for bone metastatic cancer management. This review summarizes the current knowledge on mTOR pathway signaling in bone tissue and provides an overview on the known effects of mTOR inhibition in bone cancer, both in in vitro and in vivo models. © 2013 The Authors. Source

Scrignaro M.,University of Milan Bicocca | Bianchi E.,Clinical Psychology Unit | Brunelli C.,Clinical Psychology Unit | Miccinesi G.,Institute for the Study and Prevention of Cancer | And 3 more authors.
Palliative and Supportive Care | Year: 2013

Objective: The present study is the result of theory-driven research investigating the role of the search for and presence of meaning in enhancing both mental adjustment and eudaimonic well-being in cancer patients. Method: A cross-sectional study involved 266 cancer patients currently in the treatment and management phase of their illness. Data were collected by a written questionnaire. The search for meaning was assessed with the Seeking of Noetic Goals Test, and the presence of meaning was assessed using the Purpose in Life Test. Mental adjustment to a cancer diagnosis was assessed by two subscales of the Italian version of the Mini-Mental Adjustment to Cancer Scale, and eudaimonic well-being was assessed with the Psychological Well-Being Scale. Correlation and mediation analyses based on five thousand bootstrapping samples were performed. Results: The mediation analyses showed that the presence of meaning totally or partially mediated the effect of the search for meaning on both mental adjustment and eudaimonic well-being. Further correlation analyses showed a high negative correlation between eudaimonic well-being and hopelessness. Significance of results: Our results appear relevant from both the theoretical and clinical points of view. They support a deeper understanding of the combined contribution of the search for and presence of meaning in promoting well-being in cancer patients. Simultaneously, they are consistent with suggestions from recent studies on the clinical psychology of posttraumatic growth and emphasize the relevance of eudaimonic well-being as a protective factor for hopelessness. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2014. Source

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