Apolone, G., Corli, O., Negri, E., Mangano, S., Montanari, M., Greco, M.T., . . . Zucco, F. (2009). Effects of transdermal buprenorphine on patients-reported outcomes in cancer patients: Results from the Cancer Pain Outcome Research (CPOR) Study Group. Clinical Journal of Pain, 25(8), 671–682.doi: 10.1097/AJP.0b013e3181a38f9d
To assess the effects of various analgesic options, particularly transdermal buprenorphine, on cancer-related pain
This study is a multicenter trial in which participants were patients with advanced solid tumors and persistent cancer-related pain that required analgesic treatment. For one month investigators collected descriptive data, including data from screening and weekly assessments and data related to medical history, examination findings, medications, analgesic consumption, pain assessment, satisfaction with pain treatment, and patient self-reports of quality of life. Data were collected up to the final visit, at week 12. This study did not describe specific pain interventions. Data relating to various subgroups were described and analyzed.
Nonrandomized open-label prospective, descriptive study
Patients using transdermal buprenorphine tend to show more pain reduction than patients who are taking other WHO level III analgesia. The majority of patients seem to tolerate transdermal buprenorphine well. Approximately 30% of patients were unresponsive to transdermal buprenorphine.
Transdermal buprenorphine may be a helpful alternative and adjunct in the management of cancer-related pain. Note that approximately one-third of patients in the study did not respond to this medication. Other studies have shown that absorption of transdermal medication varies among individuals. Findings point to the importance, in ensuring optimal pain management, of timely and consistent pain reassessment, particularly if switching from one approach to another or when adding medications to a regimen.