Current Status of Patient-Controlled Analgesia in Cancer Patients
March 01, 1997
In patients with an advanced disease or a terminal illness, it may become necessary to institute parenteral opioid therapy either on a temporary basis (for acute breakthrough pain) or permanently. Continuous intravenous or subcutaneous opioid infusions have been the mainstay of parenteral opioid therapy for oncologic pain. Patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) now offers an alternative modality, and Drs. Bruera and Ripamonti review the current status of this relatively new technique. Is there any evidence to suggest the superiority of one modality over the other for the treatment of oncologic pain?