Dr Michael Franco, Dr Leeroy William and Associate Professor Peter Poon are leading the award winning research study into the efficacy of low-dose methadone as an antitussive for patients with malignancy.
“Our study investigates the efficacy of methadone for cancer related cough, which affects 23-37% of all cancer patients and 47-86% of lung malignancies,” said Associate Professor Poon.
“Cough is a distressing symptom that impacts significantly upon quality of life and the current mainstay of symptomatic treatment is opioid pharmacotherapy.”
Recent evidence for choice of opioid is limited and much is based on studies of the treatment of tuberculosis patients in the 1950s.
“Methadone acts upon the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor and recent studies have revealed a prominent and unique role this receptor has in cough,” added Associate Professor Poon.
Positive outcomes of this study shall form the basis of further collaborative and translational research with the Australian Lung Cancer Trials Research Group.