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08.05.2017 | Original Article | Ausgabe 5/2017

International Journal of Clinical Oncology 5/2017

Combined application of diclofenac and celecoxib with an opioid yields superior efficacy in metastatic bone cancer pain: a randomized controlled trial

International Journal of Clinical Oncology > Ausgabe 5/2017
Zunyong Liu, Yan Xu, Zhong-liang Liu, Yi-zhou Tian, Xiao-heng Shen



Metastatic bone cancer pain is one of the most common clinical cancer pains and is caused by many factors. This study was conducted to explore the clinical efficacy of using two non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) along with an opioid in treating metastatic bone cancer pain.

Material and Method

A total of 342 patients with a pain score of 7–10 on the visual analog scale (VAS) were recruited for 4 weeks of treatment and randomly assigned to three different groups—one group received two NSAIDs (diclofenac and celecoxib), one group received diclofenac, and one group received celecoxib. All patients received morphine sulfate 10 mg/12 h with a reduction of 50% or addition of 25% each time until the VAS score was <5. The VAS score, remission rate (RR), breakthrough pain (BTP), morphine sulfate dose and side-effects among the three groups were compared.


After 4 weeks of treatment, we found that using two NSAIDs along with an opioid could yield a significantly lower VAS score (p = 0.006), higher RR (p = 0.0002) and fewer incidences of BTP (p = 0.011), compared to the use of only one NSAID. Furthermore, using two NSAIDS could significantly decrease the consumption of morphine sulfate compared to using each NSAID in isolation (p = 0.0031 in week 1; p = 0.020 in week 2; p = 0.0012 in week 4). Additionally, using two NSAIDs could produce fewer incidences of dizziness (p = 0.002), constipation (p < 0.0001) and drowsiness (p < 0.0001).


Although limited by the relatively small samples, these results indicate that using two NSAIDs along with an opioid in treating metastatic bone cancer pain was more effective and acceptable, which is worthy of further clinical application.

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