Update of EAPC opioid guidelines for cancer pain

The EAPC is in the process of updating the opioid cancer pain guidelines from 2012, published in Lancet Oncology. The work is undertaken by the research network, and it is anticipated that the same methodology as last time will be followed.

The GRADE system, in fact,  is used to develop evidence based clinical recommendations: 16 topics were included in the previous set of recommendations on the use of opiods and will be revised, but this will be more than an update.

The content will be expanded to 11 new topics, including  assessment and classification, non-opioid drugs such as NSAIDs, paracetamol, corticosteroids and ketamin. The role of radiotherapy bisphosphonates and invasive analgesic techniques  in cancer pain will also be considered. Therefore, the new guidelines will be on: Pain management of cancer patients.

The work is undertaken by the EAPC Research Network, with Augusto Caraceni, Marie Fallon and Stein Kaasa as leading authors. They are collaborating with 26 international experts, each of them coordinating literature reviews to cover all topics.

It is well recognized that guidelines are not often fully implemented into clinical practice. Therefore, in this new version we will also include a recommendation of implementation of the pain guidelines into clinical practice, and thereby increase the potential for improved pain control in patients with cancer.

In order to have a basic discussion about recommendations, we would like to receive input from all our health care colleagues.

We would like to get your advice and feedback. Please send us an e-mail if you would like to contribute to this work.

We are looking forward to receiving your input and collaboration in order to make the best guidelines for cancer pain.


During the recent EAPC congress in Copenhagen, the outlines of the guidelines were presented. If you are interested in details, the power point presentations from this session are available for download here:


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