A pilot feasibility study of establishing a clinical opioid pharmacogenomics database in palliative care
Many people with cancer will require pain relief with opioids at some time in their illness. Opioids are highly effective for most, but a group of people develop significant side effects such as nausea which limit their use. Some people appear more at risk of developing these side effects, and furthermore, seem more likely to develop side effects from one particular opioid but not another. Therefore changing from one opioid to another or ‘opioid switching’ is often useful to achieve effective pain relief and/or fewer side effects. Currently there is no means of predicting who will get side effects and with which opioid drug and formulation. It is likely that our individual genetic differences account for much of this variation. This study is the first step in a program of work which seeks to elucidate the clinical, biological and genetic factors that influence side effects and efficacy for the opioid drug class in a palliative care population of cancer patients.
This study will build a database of detailed clinical information (medications, doses, responses and side effects) linked with biological information (samples with opioid and metabolite blood levels and genetic material, measures of hepatic and renal function) to facilitate the answering of these questions. This study will include people with cancer who are treated with opioids, and with a particular focus upon those deemed to require opioid switching as part of their therapy as judged by their treating doctor.
Name: Centre for Palliative Care
- Principal Investigator - Professor Jennifer Philip
- Associate Investigator - Dr Aaron Wong
- Associate Investigator - Associate Professor Jennifer Weil
- Research Nurses – Indy Khera, Di Saward
Bethlehem Griffiths Research Foundation
Research Endowment Fund St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne