Study Finds Patients With Cancer Are Less Likely to Die of Opioid Overdose

Published: Tuesday, Jan 22, 2019
Fumiko Chino, MD

Fumiko Chino, MD

Despite changes affecting how oncologists prescribe and manage opioid use among their patients, there are few data analyzing the frequency and extent to which patients with cancer die of opioid overdoses.

William Dale, MD, PhD, who helped organized the Quality Care Symposium, said that Chino’s research was a strong addition to the symposium. “We know that studies based on death certificate data are limited by the subjectivity of the physician who fills out each death certificate, but Dr Chino took a methodologically appropriate approach to begin to get answers on whether our patients are more or less vulnerable to opioid over-dose than the general population,” he said. “We now have solid evidence to suggest that people with cancer are at a lower risk of death related to opioid use than the general popula-tion, which is important information for us as prescribers.”
Chino CL, Kamal AH, Chino JP. Opioid associated deaths in patients with cancer: a population study of the opioid epidemic over the past 10 years. Presented at: 2018 ASCO Quality Care Symposium; September 28-29, 2018; Phoenix, AZ. Abstract 230.

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