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Opioid response in paediatric cancer patients and the Val158Met polymorphism of the human catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene: an Italian study on 87 cancer children and a systematic review



Opioid response in paediatric cancer patients and the Val158Met polymorphism of the human catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene: an Italian study on 87 cancer children and a systematic review



Bmc Cancer 19(1): 113



Genetic polymorphisms in genes involved in pain modulation have been reported to be associated to opioid efficacy and safety in different clinical settings. The association between COMT Val158Met polymorphism (rs4680) and the inter-individual differences in the response to opioid analgesic therapy was investigated in a cohort of 87 Italian paediatric patients receiving opioids for cancer pain (STOP Pain study). Furthermore, a systematic review of the association between opioid response in cancer patients and the COMT polymorphism was performed in accordance with the Cochrane Handbook and the Prisma Statement. In the 87 paediatric patients, pain intensity (total time needed to reach the lowest possible level) was significantly higher for G/G than A/G and A/A carriers (p-value = 0.042). In the 60 patients treated only with morphine, the mean of total dose to reach the same pain intensity was significantly higher for G/G than A/G and A/A carriers (p-value = 0.010). Systematic review identified five studies on adults, reporting that opioid dose (mg after 24 h of treatment from the first pain measurement) was higher for G/G compared to A/G and A/A carriers. Present research suggests that the A allele in COMT polymorphism could be a marker of opioid sensitivity in paediatric cancer patients (STOP Pain), as well as in adults (Systematic Review), indicating that the polymorphism impact could be not age-dependent in the cancer pain context. Registration number: CRD42017057831 .

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Accession: 066446537

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PMID: 30704436

DOI: 10.1186/s12885-019-5310-4


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