Lack of association between angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers and pain improvement in patients with oral cancer

13 Oct 2020
Kim N Du, Andrew J Shepherd, Irvin V Ma, Carlos J Roldan, Moran Amit, Lei MS Feng, Shubh Desai, Juan P Cata

Background: There is a growing body of literature implicating angiotensin II in the modulation of tumour-associated inflammation and pain. However, the impact of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEis) and angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) on pain and inflammation has not yet been studied in oral cancers. The objective is to investigate the role of ACEi and ARB pharmacotherapy on preoperative pain and inflammatory biomarkers, neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR), platelet-to-lymphocyte ratio (PLR) and monocyte-to-lymphocyte ratio (MLR), in patients with oral cancer.

Methods: We performed a retrospective study on patients who underwent oral cancer surgery. The Wilcoxon rank-sum test or Kruskal–Wallis analysis was used to evaluate differences in demographic, tumour-related and preoperative characteristics and amongst patients using ARBs, ACEis and no treatment. Multivariable analysis was fitted to estimate the effects of important covariates on severe preoperative pain.

Results: A total of 162 patients with oral malignancies were included in the study. After adjusting for significant covariates, patients with perineural invasion were found to have higher levels of pain (p = 0.0278). Similarly, patients taking ARBs were found to have lower levels of perineural invasion (p = 0.035). The analysis did not demonstrate a significant difference in pain levels when comparing ARBs or ACEis to the no treatment group (p = 0.250). Furthermore, the use of ARB or ACEi did not significantly alter preoperative NLR (p = 0.701) or MLR (p = 0.869).

Conclusions: When compared to no treatment, ARBs and ACEis are not associated with significant analgesic effect or decreased inflammatory scores (NLR, PLR and MLR).

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