Consequences of Morphine Administration in Cancer-Induced Bone Pain: Using the Pitfalls of Morphine Therapy to Develop Targeted Adjunct Strategies
AuthorLiguori, Ashley Michele
AdvisorVanderah, Todd W.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractMany common cancers have a predisposition for bone metastasis. Tumor occupation of bone is both destructive and a source of debilitating pain in cancer patients. As a result, cancer-induced bone pain (CIBP) is the single most common form of clinical cancer pain. Opioids remain the golden standard for the management of CIBP; however, >30% of cancer patients do not experience adequate pain relief with opioids. Furthermore, clinical reports have suggested that opioids can exacerbate bone loss and increase the likelihood of skeletal-related events. To date, there is no known direct mechanism for opioid-induced bone loss (OIBL). We hypothesized that opioid off-target activation of toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4), an innate immune receptor that is expressed in bone, mediates an increase bone loss and associated CIBP. In the 66.1-BALB/cfC3H murine model of breast cancer bone metastasis, TLR4 expression is upregulated in tumor-burdened bone. Chronic morphine treatment exacerbated spontaneous and evoked pain behaviors in a manner paralleled by bone loss: we identified an increase in spontaneous fracture and osteolysis markers including serum collagen-type I (CTX) and intramedullary receptor activator of nuclear κ-B ligand (RANKL). Administration of (+)naloxone, a non-opioid TLR4 antagonist, attenuated both exacerbation of CIBP and morphine-induced osteolytic changes in vivo. Morphine did not alter tumor burden in vivo or tumor cell growth in vitro. Importantly, morphine produced the in vitro differentiation and activation of osteoclasts in a dose-dependent manner that was reversible with (+)naloxone, suggesting that morphine may contribute directly to osteolytic activation. To improve opioid management of CIBP, we then posited and evaluated three novel adjunct therapeutic targets: cannabinoid receptor-2, adenosine 3 receptor and sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor 1. These pharmacological targets were identified as having a multiplicity of anti-cancer, osteoprotective and/or neuroprotective effects in addition to analgesic efficacy in chronic pain. Targets were tested in the 66.1-BALB/cfC3H model of CIBP and demonstrated to have stand-alone efficacy as antinociceptive agents. Taken together, this work provides a cautionary evaluation of opioid therapy in cancer-induced bone pain and seeks to mitigate opioid side effects through the identification of innovative adjunct therapies that can ultimately improve quality of life in patients suffering from cancer pain.
Degree ProgramGraduate College