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Morphine for Cancer Patients Concord NH

Two new studies add to growing evidence that morphine and other opiate-based painkillers may promote the growth and spread of cancer cells. The papers, scheduled to be presented Wednesday at an international cancer conference in Boston, also demonstrate how preventing opiates from reaching lung cancer cells reduces cancer cell proliferation, invasion and migration.

Matthew Strauss Katz
(603) 230-6100
250 Pleasant St
Concord, NH
Specialty
Radiation Oncology

Data Provided by:
Matthew Strauss Katz, MD
(603) 230-6100
250 Pleasant St
Concord, NH
Specialties
Oncology (Cancer), Radiation Oncology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Ma Med Sch, Worcester Ma 01655
Graduation Year: 1998

Data Provided by:
Frederick M Briccetti, MD
(603) 224-2556
250 Pleasant St
Concord, NH
Specialties
Oncology (Cancer)
Gender
Male
Education
Graduation Year: 2007

Data Provided by:
Robert J Friedlander
(603) 622-6484
200 Technology Dr
Hooksett, NH
Specialty
Hematology / Oncology

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Meredith J Selleck
(603) 622-6484
200 Technology Dr
Hooksett, NH
Specialty
Hematology / Oncology

Data Provided by:
Andrew Philip Brown
(603) 230-6100
250 Pleasant St
Concord, NH
Specialty
Radiation Oncology

Data Provided by:
Charles H Catcher
(603) 224-2556
250 Pleasant St
Concord, NH
Specialty
Internal Medicine, Hematology / Oncology

Data Provided by:
Alexander Winn Kennedy, MD
253 Pleasant St
Concord, NH
Specialties
Oncology (Cancer), Gynecological Oncology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Case Western Reserve Univ Sch Of Med, Cleveland Oh 44106
Graduation Year: 1975

Data Provided by:
DeNis Brin Hammond
(603) 622-6484
200 Technology Dr
Hooksett, NH
Specialty
Hematology / Oncology

Data Provided by:
Meredith Jane Selleck, MD
200 Technology Dr
Hooksett, NH
Specialties
Oncology (Cancer)
Gender
Female
Education
Medical School: New York Med Coll, Valhalla Ny 10595
Graduation Year: 1997

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Morphine for Cancer Patients

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WEDNESDAY, Nov. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Two new studies add to growing evidence that morphine and other opiate-based painkillers may promote the growth and spread of cancer cells.

The papers, scheduled to be presented Wednesday at an international cancer conference in Boston, also demonstrate how preventing opiates from reaching lung cancer cells reduces cancer cell proliferation, invasion and migration.

The findings from tests with cell cultures and mice suggest that the mu opiate receptor -- where morphine acts in the body -- may offer a potential treatment target.

"If confirmed clinically, this could change how we do surgical anesthesia for our cancer patients. It also suggests potential new applications for this novel class of drugs which should be explored," Patrick A. Singleton, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Chicago and principal author of both studies, said in a university news release.

Morphine can increase tumor cell proliferation, inhibit the immune system, promote the growth of new blood vessels (angiogenesis) that feed tumors and decrease barrier function. In cancer patients undergoing surgery, decreased barrier function may make it easier for tumors to invade tissue and spread to other parts of the body, while increased angiogenesis helps tumors thrive in a new location.

Singleton and colleagues found that mice without the mu opiate receptor didn't develop tumors when injected with lung cancer cells, while normal mice did develop cancer. The researchers also found that methylnaltrexone -- developed to treat opiate-induced constipation -- reduced the proliferation of cancer cells in normal mice by 90 percent.

More information

The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more about metastatic cancer.

SOURCE: University of Chicago Medical Center, news release, Nov. 18, 2009

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