Il trattamento del dolore in oncologia

Translated title of the contribution: The treatment of oncologic pain

Franco De Conno, Daniela Polastri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Basic guidelines for cancer pain treatment can be found in many different handbooks published in the last years. Particularly those of the World Health Organisation published in 1986 and revised in 1996, furnish useful indication for cancer pain treatment. The authors therefore focused on resuming the most recent development in this field. In the research regarding alternative routes of administration of opioids in alternative to the oral route, the rectal administration of morphine and methadone and the transdermal route for fentanyl have proved to be efficacious. The subcutaneous route (for morphine) as well as the intravenous, peridural and subarachnoid routes, being known for some time are not taken into consideration in this paper. Various studies suggest that alternative routes are necessary in 53-70% of patients in their last days or months of live. The most frequent causes for the need to stop oral administation are dysphagia, nausea, and uncontrollable vomiting, bowel obstruction, malabsorption, cognitive failure, coma, and pain syndromes requiring anaesthetics which need be administered via the spinal route. Among the drugs, tramadol seems to be effective in the control of moderate pain. Tramadol is a centrally acting analgesic drug; it has an agonist effect on mu 1 receptors of opioids and acts also by inhibiting the re-uptake of noradrenaline and serotonine which activates descending monoaminergic inhibitory pathways. Recent clinical studies revealed that pamidronate has an analgesic effect in pain due to bone metastasis. Pamidronate is part of the biphosphonates, which are active on bone metabolism and are usually being used for the treatment of hypercalcaemia in cancer. The authors also describe briefly the indication of ketamin in association with morphine for the treatment of neuropathic pain.

Translated title of the contributionThe treatment of oncologic pain
Original languageItalian
Issue number2 SUPPL.
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research

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  • Cite this

    De Conno, F., & Polastri, D. (1997). Il trattamento del dolore in oncologia. Tumori, 83(2 SUPPL.).