The objective of the present systematic literature review was to provide an update on medical treatment of neuropathic pain in cancer patients. The number of cancer patients is steadily increasing. Pain is frequent in cancer patients. Few studies have focused on medical treatment of pain, and especially of neuropathic pain, in current or former cancer patients. The present systematic review of all studies published between December 2012 and August 2018 was intended to estimate the scale of this lack. In all, 27 articles were identified on a systematic PubMed search and from the authors’ personal knowledge, confirming that scant data have been published. The heterogeneity of cancer patients, of cancer, and of pain go some way toward explaining this scarcity. Guidelines, founded mainly on results from non-cancer patients, recommend tricyclic antidepressants and antiepileptic drugs; local treatments have the advantage of good systemic tolerance. Larger-scale studies taking account of the etiology of neuropathic pain, its characteristics (strictly neuropathic or mixed) and patient characteristics (awaiting treatment, under treatment, recent or non-recent survivor, or in terminal phase) along the care pathway are needed to improve knowledge. The results of the present literature analysis can help future research.
Copyright © 2019. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS.
Cancer; Drug therapy; Neoplasms; Neuralgia; Névralgie; Revue systématique de la littérature; Systematic literature review; Thérapie