Do intraoperative analgesics influence breast cancer recurrence after mastectomy? A retrospective analysis

Anesth Analg. 2010 Jun 1;110(6):1630-5. doi: 10.1213/ANE.0b013e3181d2ad07. Epub 2010 Apr 30.


Background: Whether intraoperative analgesics have an impact on postoperative cancer recurrence is unknown. Some investigations suggest that the opioids could favor relapse and that regional analgesia and nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs could improve cancer prognosis. We retrospectively reviewed our series of breast cancer surgery patients.

Methods: This retrospective study included 327 consecutive women who underwent mastectomy with axillary dissection for breast cancer. The main objective was to compare the incidence of cancer recurrence among patients who received different analgesics during surgery.

Results: Perioperative characteristics, cancer prognostic factors, and the length of surgery were comparable regardless of the analgesics administered. Univariate and multivariate analyses showed a lower cancer recurrence rate when ketorolac was given before surgery (P = 0.019). Other analgesics (sufentanil, ketamine, and clonidine) were not associated with a significant reduction in cancer recurrence rates in our series.

Conclusion: This retrospective analysis suggests that intraoperative administration of ketorolac decreases the risk of breast cancer relapse compared with other analgesícs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Analgesics / therapeutic use*
  • Analgesics, Opioid / adverse effects
  • Analgesics, Opioid / therapeutic use
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / adverse effects
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use
  • Breast Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Breast Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Data Collection
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Endpoint Determination
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intraoperative Care*
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Ketorolac / therapeutic use
  • Lymph Nodes / pathology
  • Lymphatic Metastasis / pathology
  • Mastectomy
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Pain, Postoperative / drug therapy
  • Regression Analysis
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Analgesics
  • Analgesics, Opioid
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Ketorolac