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J Palliat Med. 2017 Jun;20(6):656-661. doi: 10.1089/jpm.2016.0316. Epub 2016 Dec 20.

Overall Survival among Cancer Patients Undergoing Opioid Rotation to Methadone Compared to Other Opioids.

Author information

1
1 Department of Palliative, Rehabilitation, and Integrative Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center , Houston, Texas.
2
2 Universitätsklinikum Carl Gustav Carus , PalliativCentrum & Medizinische Klinik, Dresden, Germany .
3
3 Department of Biostatistics, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center , Houston, Texas.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Methadone has been associated with lower overall survival (OS) in patients with chronic pain. There are no data available on the association of methadone with OS in cancer patients.

OBJECTIVE:

Our aim was to compare the OS in cancer outpatients undergoing opioid rotation (OR) to methadone and other strong opioids.

DESIGN:

Demographics, symptoms, and morphine equivalent daily dose (MEDD) were collected in patients who underwent OR from strong opioids to either methadone or other strong opioids and returned for a follow-up within six weeks.

SETTING/SUBJECTS:

Nine hundred thirty-eight consecutive outpatients to the supportive care center of a tertiary cancer center were reviewed.

MEASUREMENTS:

Kaplan-Meier curves were used to evaluate survival.

RESULTS:

Of a total of 164 eligible patients, 54/76 patients who underwent OR to methadone and 48/88 patients who underwent OR to other opioids returned for a follow-up visit. The median age was 56 years, 54% were male, and 87% had advanced cancer. There were no significant differences between the two groups in patient characteristics, performance status, MEDD, and pain scores. The Kaplan-Meier curves revealed no significant difference in median OS between all patients undergoing OR to methadone and other opioids [3.75 months (95% confidence interval, CI, 2.30-6.46) vs. 2.62 months (95% CI 1.74-4.33); p = 0.35] and also among those who returned for a follow-up following an OR to methadone and other opioids [5.15 months (95% CI 3.64-7.41) vs. 5.90 months (95% CI 2.62-9.28); p = 0.89].

CONCLUSIONS:

We observed no significant difference in OS in cancer patients in methadone group compared to other opioids.

KEYWORDS:

cancer pain; cancer patients; methadone; mortality; opioid rotation; survival

PMID:
27997283
PMCID:
PMC5915217
DOI:
10.1089/jpm.2016.0316
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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