Identifying Genetic Factors Impacting Opioid Response in the Advance Cancer Palliative Care Population

Principal Investigator
Dr. Christine Watt
Lecturer in the Division of Palliative Medicine, University of Ottawa Department of Palliative Care, Élisabeth Bruyère Hospital, The Ottawa Hospital
Study Contact
Gaelle Parsons
Project Lay Summary

Pain is very common in patients receiving palliative care. Studies have shown that pain control with opioid medications often takes more than 20 days and involves finding the right opioid and dose that relieves pain and has fewer side effects. This delay in pain control is often happening at the end of life when quality of life is especially important to patients and their caregivers. A new research field is growing and focuses on identifying the variations in each person’s individual genetic makeup (DNA) affecting how they respond to opioids.

This project aims to confirm previously described genetic variations and their impact on opioid response using DNA and clinical chart data from patients who died with advanced cancer. By identifying the genetic factors that can predict how a patient will respond to certain opioids, we will improve pain symptoms faster and more effectively, increasing patient and caregiver quality of life.

Project Details
Drug Study

Cancer Only Study

Research Topics
Symptom Management
Target Groups

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Patients and Caregivers