Back to Journals » Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management » Volume 5

Managing severe cancer pain: the role of transdermal buprenorphine: a systematic review

Authors Deandrea S, Corli O, Moschetti I, Apolone G

Published 4 September 2009 Volume 2009:5 Pages 707—718


Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

S Deandrea1,2, O Corli1, I Moschetti3, G Apolone1

1Center for the Evaluation and Research on Pain (CERP), Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche “Mario Negri”, Milan, Italy; 2Istituto di Statistica Medica e Biometria “GA Maccacaro”, Università degli studi di Milano, Milan, Italy; 3Italian Cochrane Center, Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche “Mario Negri”, Milan, Italy

Abstract: Pain is a frequent and important symptom in cancer patients. Among the available strong opioids, transdermal buprenorphine has been licensed in Europe since 2002, and results from a few clinical studies suggest that it may be a good alternative to the other oral or transdermal opioids. To assess the best available evidence on its efficacy and safety, we carried out a systematic literature review with the aim of pooling relevant studies. We identified 19 eligible papers describing 12 clinical studies (6 randomized controlled trials and 6 observational prospective studies), including a total of about 5000 cancer patients. Given the poor quality of reports and the heterogeneity of methods and outcomes, pooling was not feasible as the type of data was not appropriate for combining the results statistically. A meta-analysis based on individual data is ongoing in the context of the Cochrane Collaboration. In conclusion, although the narrative appraisal of each study suggests a positive risk benefit profile, well designed and statistically powered controlled clinical trials are needed to confirm this preliminary evidence.

Keywords: systematic review, transdermal buprenorphine, cancer pain

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF] 


Readers of this article also read:

Green synthesis of water-soluble nontoxic polymeric nanocomposites containing silver nanoparticles

Prozorova GF, Pozdnyakov AS, Kuznetsova NP, Korzhova SA, Emel’yanov AI, Ermakova TG, Fadeeva TV, Sosedova LM

International Journal of Nanomedicine 2014, 9:1883-1889

Published Date: 16 April 2014

Methacrylic-based nanogels for the pH-sensitive delivery of 5-Fluorouracil in the colon

Ashwanikumar N, Kumar NA, Nair SA, Kumar GS

International Journal of Nanomedicine 2012, 7:5769-5779

Published Date: 15 November 2012

A novel preparation method for silicone oil nanoemulsions and its application for coating hair with silicone

Hu Z, Liao M, Chen Y, Cai Y, Meng L, Liu Y, Lv N, Liu Z, Yuan W

International Journal of Nanomedicine 2012, 7:5719-5724

Published Date: 12 November 2012

Cross-linked acrylic hydrogel for the controlled delivery of hydrophobic drugs in cancer therapy

Deepa G, Thulasidasan AK, Anto RJ, Pillai JJ, Kumar GS

International Journal of Nanomedicine 2012, 7:4077-4088

Published Date: 27 July 2012

Crystallization after intravitreal ganciclovir injection

Pitipol Choopong, Nattaporn Tesavibul, Nattawut Rodanant

Clinical Ophthalmology 2010, 4:709-711

Published Date: 14 July 2010