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

Alternative splicing, an important mechanism for cancer

September 22, 2017
Cancer, which is one of the leading causes of death worldwide, arises from the disruption of essential mechanisms of the normal cell life cycle, such as replication control, DNA repair and cell death. Thanks to the advances ...

'Labyrinth' chip could help monitor aggressive cancer stem cells

September 21, 2017
Inspired by the Labyrinth of Greek mythology, a new chip etched with fluid channels sends blood samples through a hydrodynamic maze to separate out rare circulating cancer cells into a relatively clean stream for analysis. ...

Drug combination may improve impact of immunotherapy in head and neck cancer

September 21, 2017
Checkpoint inhibitor-based immunotherapy has been shown to be very effective in recurrent and metastatic head and neck cancer but only in a minority of patients. University of California San Diego School of Medicine researchers ...

Whole food diet may help prevent colon cancer, other chronic conditions

September 21, 2017
A diet that includes plenty of colorful vegetables and fruits may contain compounds that can stop colon cancer and inflammatory bowel diseases in pigs, according to an international team of researchers. Understanding how ...

New kinase detection method helps identify targets for developing cancer drugs

September 21, 2017
Purdue University researchers have developed a high-throughput method for matching kinases to the proteins they phosphorylate, speeding the ability to identify multiple potential cancer drug targets.

Brain cancer growth halted by absence of protein, study finds

September 20, 2017
The growth of certain aggressive brain tumors can be halted by cutting off their access to a signaling molecule produced by the brain's nerve cells, according to a new study by researchers at the Stanford University School ...

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.