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May 30, 2017
PloS One
Retrospective analyses suggest anaesthetic-analgesics technique during cancer surgery may affect recurrence/metastasis. This could involve direct effects of anaesthetic-analgesic drugs on cancer cells. While μ-opioid receptor over-expression in lung tumours is associated with greater metastasis, other anaesthetic-analgesic receptor targets in cancer recurrence/metastasis remain unexplored. Therefore, we evaluated the association between genetic expression of anaesthetic-analgesic receptor targets and recurrence/metastasis, using a repository of breast cancer gene expression and matching clinical data. A list of 23 genes encoding for the most prominent anaesthetic-analgesic receptor targets was compiled. This was processed through BreastMark- an algorithm integrating gene expression data from ~17,000 samples and clinical data from >4,500 breast cancer samples. Gene expression data was dichotomized using disease-free survival (survival without recurrence) and distant disease-free survival (survival without metastasis) as end points. Hazard ratios were calculated by Cox-regression analysis. Enrichment for prognostic markers was determined by randomly choosing 23-member gene lists from all available genes, calculating how often >5 significant markers were observed and adjusting p-values for multiple testing. This was repeated 10,000 times and an empirical p-value calculated. Of 23 selected genes, 9 were significantly associated with altered rates of metastasis and 4 with recurrence on univariate analysis. Adjusting for multiple testing, 5 of these 9 genes remained significantly associated with metastasis, non with recurrence. This ratio of genes (5/23) was not significantly enriched for markers of metastasis (p = 0.07). Several anaesthetic-analgesic receptor genes were associated with metastatic spread in breast cancer. Overall there was no significant enrichment in prognostic markers of metastasis, although a trend was observed.

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