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American Society for Action on Pain

UI - 000084

AU - Barni S

AU - Lissoni P

AU - Rovelli F

AU - Crispino S

AU - Paolorossi F

AU - Esposti D

AU - Esposti G

AU - Fraschini F

AU - Tancini G

TI - Alteration of opioid peptide circadian rhythm in cancer patients

AB - Endogenous opioid peptides have been seen to play a role in regulating immunity and tumor growth.

This study was carried out to investigate opioid activity in human cancer. We evaluated by

radioimmunoassay beta-endorphin plasma levels on blood samples collected at 9.00 a.m. from 121 cancer

patients and 42 healthy subjects. In 22 cancer patients and in 12 controls, beta-endorphin circadian rhythm

was also investigated. Finally, in 14 cancer patients and in 10 controls GH, PRL, FSH, LH and cortisol

serum levels were measured after the administration of a metenkephalin analogue, FK 33-824 (0.3 mg i.v.).

No significant differences were seen in beta-endorphin mean levels between cancer patients and normal

subjects. Moreover, no differences were found between patients with or without metastases, nor between

those with or without chronic pain. beta-Endorphin circadian rhythm appeared to be altered in 16/22 cancer

patients, and anomalous hormonal responses to FK 33-824 were seen in 13/14 patients. This study shows an

altered opioid activity in human neoplasms, whose clinical significance remains to be determined

SO - Tumori 1988;74:357-360