Pharmacogenomics of Cancer Pain Treatment Outcomes in Asian Populations: A Review

Shobha Elizabeth Satkunananthan, Vijayaprakash Suppiah, Gaik Theng Toh, Hui Yin Yow

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


In advanced cancer, pain is a poor prognostic factor, significantly impacting patients’ quality of life. It has been shown that up to 30% of cancer patients in Southeast Asian countries may receive inadequate analgesia from opioid therapy. This significant under-management of cancer pain is largely due to the inter-individual variability in opioid dosage and relative efficacy of available opioids, leading to unpredictable clinical responses to opioid treatment. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) cause the variability in opioid treatment outcomes, yet their association in Asian populations remains unclear. Therefore, this review aimed to evaluate the association of SNPs with variability in opioid treatment responses in Asian populations. A literature search was conducted in Medline and Embase databases and included primary studies investigating the association of SNPs in opioid treatment outcomes, namely pharmacokinetics, opioid dose requirements, and pain control among Asian cancer patients. The results show that CYP2D6*10 has the most clinical relevance in tramadol treatment. Other SNPs such as rs7439366 (UGT2B7), rs1641025 (ABAT) and rs1718125 (P2RX7) though significant have limited pharmacogenetic implications due to insufficient evidence. OPRM1 rs1799971, COMT rs4680 and ABCB1 (rs1045642, rs1128503, and rs2032582) need to be further explored in future for relevance in Asian populations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1927
JournalJournal of Personalized Medicine
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished or Issued - Nov 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • cancer pain
  • gene polymorphisms
  • opioid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)

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