Patients experiencing cancer with bone metastasis are often prescribed opioids and additional therapies to manage chronic pain. While the 2016 CDC guidelines were not intended to affect patients with chronic pain, sickle-cell disease, or surgical procedures, findings from Zhang and colleagues’ study raise the concern that these patients have reduced access to prescription opioids for pain management. The authors encourage future research to examine if opioid prescribing guidelines may unintentionally lead to higher rates of undertreated pain for cancer patients.
This research was funded by a CHERISH pilot grant awarded to Hao Zhang, PhD, in 2020 and a grant from Arnold Ventures. Additional contributions are acknowledged from CHERISH Research Affiliate Katherine Wen and Weill Cornell Medicine colleague Phyllis Johnson for their support in HCCI data management.