Can Regional Anesthesia After Cancer Surgery Reduce Metastasis?

Cancer-related pain can be severe and debilitating, and opioid analgesia is often prescribed to manage the pain. However, research in animal models has shown that opioids are immunosuppressive, and the stresses associated with surgical procedures can also impair immunity. Therefore, alternative multimodal pain management techniques are required to reduce the negative impact of opioids and to attempt to minimize surgical stress.

Regional anesthesia (RA) is becoming a popular alternative choice for pain management, and some evidence suggests that RA may play a role in inhibiting cancer progression. Various theories have been proposed to explain how RA may inhibit cancer progression.

In an attempt to identify the areas in which RA may have a proven benefit on cancer progression, Grandhi et al performed a metaanalysis of 67,577 patients across 28 studies, evaluating the hazard ratios of overall survival, recurrence-free survival, and biochemical recurrence-free survival.

Their results are presented in “The Relationship Between Regional Anesthesia and Cancer: A Metaanalysis,”  a paper published in the winter 2017 issue of Ochsner Journal.

Ochsner Journal is a quarterly, peer-reviewed medical journal that is fully searchable at PubMed. To subscribe to the Journal and receive notification each quarter when an issue is published, subscribe to the electronic table of contents by completing this brief form.


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