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COMT and morphine use in cancer pain 

COMT and morphine use in cancer pain
COMT and morphine use in cancer pain

Fausto Morell-Ducos

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date: 21 October 2021

The landmark paper discussed in this chapter is ‘Genetic variation in the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene and morphine requirements in cancer patients with pain’, published by Rakvåg et al. in 2008. Genetic variation contributes to differences in pain sensitivity and response to analgesics. Catecholamines are involved in the modulation of pain and are metabolized by catchol-O-methyltransferase (COMT). Genetic variability in the COMT gene may therefore contribute to differences in pain sensitivity and response to analgesics. It has been shown that a polymorphism in the COMT gene, Rs4680 (val158met), influences pain sensitivity and efficacy for morphine in cancer pain treatment. This study investigated whether the variability in other regions in the COMT gene also contributes to the inter-individual variability of morphine efficacy by mapping 11 single nucleotide polymorphisms, constructing haplotypes from them, and then comparing genotypes and haplotypes against pharmacological, demographic, and patient symptom measurements in patients receiving morphine for cancer pain.

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