Home > Journals > Minerva Anestesiologica > Past Issues > Minerva Anestesiologica 2015 August;81(8) > Minerva Anestesiologica 2015 August;81(8):894-900



Publishing options
To subscribe PROMO
Submit an article
Recommend to your librarian


Cite this article as


EXPERT OPINION   Free accessfree

Minerva Anestesiologica 2015 August;81(8):894-900


language: English

OPRM1 receptor as new biomarker to help the prediction of post mastectomy pain and recurrence in breast cancer

De Gregori M. 1, 2, Diatchenko L. 2, 3, Belfer I. 2, 4, Allegri M. 2, 5, 6

1 Pain Therapy Service, Fondazione IRCCS Policlinico San Matteo, Pavia, Italy; 2 SIMPAR (Study in Multidisciplinary Pain Research) group, Rome, Italy; 3 McGill University, Montréal, Canada; 4 Department of Anesthesiology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA; 5 Department of Surgical Sciences, University of Parma, Parma, Italy; 6 Anesthesia, Intensive care and Pain Service, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria di Parma, Parma, Italy


Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among women worldwide. Short-term postsurgical recovery is complicated by many factors, including imbalanced inflammatory and immune response, acute pain associated with functional impairment, and chronic postmastectomy pain (CPMP), developed by about 25-60% of patients. Opioids, most common drugs used for treatment of cancer pain, are immunosuppressive, and therefore, they might directly and/or indirectly influence long-term cancer recurrence. Moreover, they also produce endocrinopathy, which consists primarily of hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis or hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis dysfunction. The interindividual variability in both CPMP and opioid response is believed to be largely underlined by genetic variability in the gene locus for μ-opioid receptor (OPRM1) that modulates opioid pharmacodynamics. For this reason, OPRM1 genotype may play a key role both in short-term postmastectomy outcome and in long-term follow-up, becoming a new biomarker for breast cancer recurrence in patients suffering from chronic postmastectomy pain managed by opioid therapy. Hence OPRM1 might be used in near future to customize the opioid therapy, avoiding not only opioid side effects but also the disease progression. In this review we evaluate the literature state of the art on this topic and possible steps towards obtaining the safest individualized postmastectomy analgesic therapy. Therefore, a personalized pain treatment strategy might be useful to both manage pain and control cancer disease progression.

top of page