Impact of Opioid Use in Hematological Malignancies: Clinical, Immunological and Concomitant Aspects

Polina Tregubenko, Valeriy Zvonarev


Opioid agents play a unique role in pain and symptom management for cancer patients. Research shows that opiate use, especially when associated with underlying cancer, has significant effects on hematological parameters. These changes may lead to greater risk for immunosuppression, tumor growth and progression of metastatic processes. The aim of this review is to explore the effects of opiates on various metabolic and biological processes, as well as the hematopoietic system, especially in cancer patients. Our findings demonstrate that the tumor-promoting effects of opiates remain contradictory, as both growth-promoting and anti-tumor effects have been observed. However, available data suggest that opiates can facilitate the proliferation and migration of tumor cells, and understanding of this process on cancer treatment is tremendously important.

J Hematol. 2020;9(3):41-54


Opioids; Morphine; Cancer; Metastasis; Leukemia; Lymphoma; Oncology; Immune system

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Journal of Hematology, bimonthly, ISSN 1927-1212 (print), 1927-1220 (online), published by Elmer Press Inc.                            
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