Research indicates that new drugs being developed could be the answer to millions of cancer patients who suffer from pain during the illness.
Professors David Lambert and David Rowbotham at the University of Leicester, as well as Doctors Guerrini, Calo and Professor Salvadori from the University of Ferrara in Italy have collaborated to develop new drugs which have the potential to relieve cancer pain without causing many of the side effects of current pain-treatments like morphine. Currently, the use of drugs like morphine produces side effects such as depressed breathing, drowsiness, constipation and tolerance. Unfortunately tolerance usually results in an increased dose of morphine, which in turn means that patients experience more of these side effects.
Professor David Lambert commented, "This work is still at a very early stage but has the potential to change the way we think about making drugs for pain related issues."
"Pain is a very complicated condition, whose control and relief could be achieved with the use of drugs that act on two different targets in order to obtain pain relief more effectively," said Guerrini.
The two-target idea may provide effective pain relief with less tolerance.
The team of scientists mentioned that more work is required on the research to enable studies to be performed in patients.