Immunological Insights into Opioid-Free Anaesthesia in Oncological Surgery: A Scoping Review

Laura Smith* (Corresponding Author), Juan P. Cata, Patrice Forget

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose of Review: The influence of opioids on outcomes after cancer surgery when used, or avoided, intraoperatively remains unclear. There is a need to conduct a scoping review to explore the wider context and provide direction for future research. The review will examine the current state of evidence in humans, with a focus on immunological biomarkers and clinically relevant cancer outcomes in trials comparing opioid-free to opioid-based general anaesthesia. Recent Findings: There is limited research on this subject area, which is mainly focused on breast cancer. The most frequently evaluated immunological parameter is the neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio. Cancer outcomes are mainly focused on recurrence. Summary: The central knowledge gap is understanding how the cellular effects of opioids translate into longer-term patient outcomes. The major challenge for future research is accounting for the immunomodulatory effects of a wide range of confounding factors, which have yet to be clarified.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1327-1336
Number of pages10
JournalCurrent Oncology Reports
Issue number10
Early online date28 May 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2022

Data Availability Statement

Supplementary Information:
The online version contains supplementary material available at


  • Opioid-free anaesthesia
  • Cancer
  • Immune response
  • Surgery


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