Breast Cancer Coverage From Every Angle

Outcomes With Regional Anesthesia in Breast Cancer Surgery

By: Meg Barbor, MPH
Posted: Thursday, November 30, 2017

The use of regional anesthesia, such as paravertebral block (PVB), is associated with lower levels of inflammation and a better immune response compared with general anesthesia and opioid-based analgesia in breast cancer surgery patients, according to research published by Oscar Pérez-González, MD, of Instituto Nacional de Cancerología, Mexico City, and colleagues, in Regional Anesthesia & Pain Medicine. However, further research is needed to link PVB to reduction in cancer recurrence or improvement in cancer-related survival, the authors noted.

A systematic literature search for studies of patients who received PVB for breast cancer surgery was conducted. Of 467 relevant studies, 15 studies were selected for assessment. Analysis of these chosen studies focused on the impact of PVB on recurrence and survival; humoral response; and cellular immune response.

The investigators found a link between regional anesthesia and better outcomes, namely lower levels of inflammation and a better immune response in comparison with general anesthesia and opioid-based analgesia. However, no data were found to support or refute the use of PVB in reducing cancer recurrence or improving cancer-related survival outcomes.

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