Adding ketamine to opioids doesn't reduce cancer pain

September 11, 2012
Adding ketamine to opioids doesn't reduce cancer pain
Using subcutaneously administered ketamine in a dose-escalating regimen as an adjunct to opioids and standard co-analgesics does not have any clinical benefit in relieving cancer pain, but it is associated with increased toxicity, according to research published online Sept. 10 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

(HealthDay)—Using subcutaneously administered ketamine in a dose-escalating regimen as an adjunct to opioids and standard co-analgesics does not have any clinical benefit in relieving cancer pain, but it is associated with increased toxicity, according to research published online Sept. 10 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Janet Hardy, M.D., of the Mater Adult Hospital in South Brisbane, Australia, and colleagues conducted a multisite, dose-escalation, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial involving 185 patients with advanced cancer to evaluate the use of ketamine or placebo delivered subcutaneously over three to five days. The authors sought to determine whether the addition of ketamine to opioids improves the management of chronic uncontrolled cancer pain.

The researchers observed no significant difference between patients receiving ketamine or placebo, and it did not matter whether pain was nociceptive or neuropathic. However, there were nearly double the adverse events with ketamine compared with placebo, including a greater risk of severe adverse events (odds ratio, 1.09; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.00 to 1.18). For one positive outcome to be achieved with ketamine use, the number needed to treat was 25, compared with a number needed to harm of only six.

"This large demonstrated a strong and failed to show any additional for ketamine when delivered subcutaneously in a dose-escalating regimen over five days, while significantly increasing toxicity," the authors write.

Explore further: 'Special K' could relieve depression

More information: Abstract
Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

Related Stories

'Special K' could relieve depression

June 7, 2012
(Medical Xpress) -- Recreational drug and anaesthetic, ketamine, is being trialled in people with severe depression and is providing almost instant relief from symptoms, offering fresh hope of a quick new way to manage the ...

Ketamine improved bipolar depression within minutes

May 30, 2012
Bipolar disorder is a serious and debilitating condition where individuals experience severe swings in mood between mania and depression. The episodes of low or elevated mood can last days or months, and the risk of suicide ...

Ketamine helps see how the brain works in clinical depression

June 16, 2011
(Medical Xpress) -- In a new study published in Nature, Lisa Monteggia from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center looks at how the drug ketamine, typically used as an anesthetic or a popular recreational drug ...

Cannabinoid formulation benefits opioid-refractory pain

June 13, 2012
(HealthDay) -- A novel cannabinoid formulation, nabiximols, is safe and effective for patients with advanced cancer and opioid-refractory pain, especially at a low-dose, according to a study published in the May issue of ...

Recommended for you

T-cells engineered to outsmart tumors induce clinical responses in relapsed Hodgkin lymphoma

January 16, 2018
WASHINGTON-(Jan. 16, 2018)-Tumors have come up with ingenious strategies that enable them to evade detection and destruction by the immune system. So, a research team that includes Children's National Health System clinician-researchers ...

Researchers identify new treatment target for melanoma

January 16, 2018
Researchers in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have identified a new therapeutic target for the treatment of melanoma. For decades, research has associated female sex and a history of previous ...

More evidence of link between severe gum disease and cancer risk

January 16, 2018
Data collected during a long-term health study provides additional evidence for a link between increased risk of cancer in individuals with advanced gum disease, according to a new collaborative study led by epidemiologists ...

Researchers develop a remote-controlled cancer immunotherapy system

January 15, 2018
A team of researchers has developed an ultrasound-based system that can non-invasively and remotely control genetic processes in live immune T cells so that they recognize and kill cancer cells.

Dietary fat, changes in fat metabolism may promote prostate cancer metastasis

January 15, 2018
Prostate tumors tend to be what scientists call "indolent" - so slow-growing and self-contained that many affected men die with prostate cancer, not of it. But for the percentage of men whose prostate tumors metastasize, ...

Pancreatic tumors may require a one-two-three punch

January 15, 2018
One of the many difficult things about pancreatic cancer is that tumors are resistant to most treatments because of their unique density and cell composition. However, in a new Wilmot Cancer Institute study, scientists discovered ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.