Drugs of anaesthesia and cancer

Department of Neurosciences, Psychiatric and Anesthesiological Sciences, University of Messina, Via C.Valeria, Messina, Italy.
Surgical Oncology (Impact Factor: 2.37). 05/2009; 19(2):63-81. DOI: 10.1016/j.suronc.2009.03.007
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Anaesthesia represents one of the most important medical advances in history, and, nowadays, can widely be considered safe, thanks to the discovery of new drugs and the adoption of modern technologies. Nevertheless, anaesthetic practices still represent cause for concern regarding the consequences they produce. Various anaesthetics are frequently used without knowing their effects on specific diseases: despite having been reported that invasion or metastasis of cancer cells easily occurs during surgical procedures, numerous anaesthetics are used for cancer resection even if their effect on the behaviour of cancer cells is unclear. Guidelines for a proper use of anaesthetics in cancer surgery are not available, therefore, the aim of the present review is to survey available up-to-date information on the effects of the most used drugs in anaesthesia (volatile and intravenous anaesthetics, nitrous oxide, opioids, local anaesthetics and neuromuscular blocking drugs) in correlation to cancer. This kind of knowledge could be a basic valuable support to improve anaesthesia performance and patient safety.

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