Careful Breakthrough Cancer Pain Treatment through Rapid-Onset Transmucosal Fentanyl Improves the Quality of Life in Cancer Patients: Results from the BEST Multicenter Study

Arturo Cuomo, Marco Cascella, Cira Antonietta Forte, Sabrina Bimonte, Gennaro Esposito, Stefano De Santis, Luigi Cavanna, Flavio Fusco, Mario Dauri, Silvia Natoli, Marco Maltoni, Alessandro Morabito, Rocco Domenico Mediati, Vito Lorusso, Sandro Barni, Giampiero Porzio, Sebastiano Mercadante, Anna Crispo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: To explore the effect of breakthrough cancer pain (BTcP) treatment on quality of sleep and other aspects of the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in patients with cancer pain.

METHODS: In an observational, multicenter, cohort study, cancer patients from palliative care units, oncology departments, and pain clinics and affected by BTcP were included. Enrolled patients were assessed at the four visits: T0 (baseline), T7, T14, and T28. Stable chronic background pain (numeric rating scale, NRS ≤ 4) during the whole study period was mandatory. BTcP was treated through transmucosal fentanyl. Three questionnaires were used to measure the HRQoL: EORTC QLQ-C15-PAL, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), and the Edmonton Symptom Assessment System (ESAS).

RESULTS: In 154 patients, the HRQoL showed a significant improvement for all physical and emotional characteristics in the EORTC QLQ-C15-PAL, except for nausea and vomiting (linear p-value = 0.1) and dyspnea (Linear p-value = 0.05). The ESAS and PSQI questionnaires confirmed these positive results (p < 0.0001 and p = 0.002, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS: This prospective investigation by an Italian expert group, has confirmed that careful management of BTcP induces a paramount improvement on the HRQoL. Because in cancer patients there is a high prevalence of BTcP and this severe acute pain has deleterious consequences, this information can have an important clinical significance.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Volume9
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2 2020

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