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Yusom Shin 1 Article
Morphine as a suspect of aiding the propagation of cancer cells
Yusom Shin
Kosin Med J. 2017;32(2):164-169.   Published online January 19, 2017
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Abstract PDFPubReader   ePub   

Controlling pain in cancer patients is important for several reasons including patient quality of life (QOL). In moderate-to-severe cancer-pain management, opioid analgesics are indispensable. Among these, morphine is the most representative. Unfortunately, many studies have shown that morphine is potentially associated with cancer growth, recurrence, and metastasis. Specifically, in animal as well as in vivo and in vitro studies, morphine has been demonstrated to have possibly positive effects on cancer progression. However, those effects have not yet been confirmed as entirely harmful, for several reasons: the results of animal and laboratory research have not been subjected to clinical trials; there are as yet no well-designed clinical studies, and indeed, some studies have shown that morphine can have negative, suppression effects on tumor growth. This review paper will present some of the data on the potentially positive relationships between morphine and cancer. It should not be forgotten, though, that such relationships remain controversial, and that pain itself promotes cancer progression.

KMJ : Kosin Medical Journal