Clinical and genetic factors related to cancer-induced bone pain and bone pain relief

Emanuela Scarpi, Daniele Calistri, Pål Klepstad, Stein Kaasa, Frank Skorpen, Ragnhild Habberstad, Oriana Nanni, Dino Amadori, Marco Maltoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objective. The study objective was to evaluate whether there are clinical or genetic differences between patients with cancer-induced bone pain (CIBP) and patients with non-CIBP, and, in the CIBP group, in those with good versus poor opioid response.

Materials and Methods. A total of 2,294 adult patients with cancer who were receiving opioids for moderate or severe pain were included in the European Pharmacogenetic Opioid Study. Pain intensity and pain relief were measured using the Brief Pain Inventory. Linkage disequilibrium of 112 single nucleotide polymorphisms was evaluated in 25 candidate genes, and 43 haplotypes were assessed. Correlations among demographical factors, disease-related factors, genetic factors, CIBP, and pain relief were analyzed by logistic regression models corrected for multiple testing. Patients with bone metastases and bone/soft tissue pain were defined as having prevalent bone pain (CIBP population). This population was compared with patients who had other types of cancer pain (non-CIBP).

Results. A total of 577 patients (26.2%) had CIBP, and 1,624 patients (73.8%) had non-CIBP. Patients with CIBP had more breakthrough cancer pain episodes (64.2% vs. 56.4%, p = .001), had significantly higher pain interference in“walkingability in the past 24 hours” (p <.0001), used more adjuvant drugs (84.1% vs. 78.3%, p = .003), and had a higher, albeit nonsignificant, median overall survival (3.8 vs. 2.9 months, p = .716) than patients with non-CIBP. None of the examined haplotypes exceeded p values corrected for multiple testing for the investigated outcomes.

Conclusion. Patients with CIBP who were taking opioids had a clinical profile slightly different from that of the non-CIBP group. However, no specific genetic pattern emerged for CIBP versus non-CIBP or for responsive versus nonresponsive patients with CIBP. The Oncologist 2014;19:1276–1283

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1276-1283
Number of pages8
JournalThe oncologist
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2014


  • Assessment
  • Cancer-induced bone pain
  • Genetic factors
  • Haplotypes
  • Opioids
  • Palliative care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

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