Brazilian Journal of Anesthesiology
Brazilian Journal of Anesthesiology
Narrative Review

Lidocaine in oncological surgery: the role of blocking in voltage-gated sodium channels. A narrative review

Lidocaína em cirurgia oncológica: o papel do bloqueio dos canais de sódio dependentes de voltagem. Revisão narrativa

German Soto, Fernanda Calero, Marusa Naranjo

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The current evidence suggests that oncological surgery, which is a therapy used in the treatment of solid tumors, increases the risk of metastasis. In this regard, a wide range of tumor cells express Voltage-Gated Sodium Channels (VGSC), whose biological roles are not related to the generation of action potentials. In epithelial tumor cells, VGSC are part of cellular structures named invadopodia, involved in cell proliferation, migration, and metastasis. Recent studies showed that lidocaine could decrease cancer recurrence through its direct effects on tumor cells and immunomodulatory properties on the stress response.

The aim of this narrative review is to highlight the role of VGSC in tumor cells, and to describe the potential antiproliferative effect of lidocaine during the pathogenesis of metastasis.

A critical review of literature from April 2017 to April 2019 was performed. Articles found on PubMed (2000–2019) were considered. A free text and MeSH-lidocaine; voltage-gated sodium channels; tumor cells; invadopodia; surgical stress; cell proliferation; metastasis; cancer recurrence – for articles in English, Spanish and Portuguese language – was used. A total of 62 were selected.

In animal studies, lidocaine acts by blocking VGSC and other receptors, decreasing migration, invasion, and metastasis. These studies need to be replicated in humans in the context of oncological surgery.


Lidocaine,  Voltage-gated sodium channels,  Tumor cells,  Invadopodia,  Surgical stress,  Cell proliferation,  Metastasis,  Cancer recurrence


As evidências atuais sugerem que a cirurgia oncológica, usada no tratamento de tumores sólidos, aumenta o risco de metástase. Nesse sentido, uma ampla gama de células tumorais expressa Canais de Sódio Dependentes de Voltagem (CSDV), cujos papéis biológicos não estão relacionados à produção de potencial de ação. Nas células epiteliais tumorais, o CSDV é parte integrante de estruturas celulares denominadas invadópodes, que participam da proliferação, migração e metástase celular. Estudos recentes mostraram que a lidocaína pode diminuir a recorrência do câncer por meio de efeitos diretos nas células tumorais e de propriedades imunomoduladoras na resposta ao estresse.

O objetivo desta revisão narrativa é analisar o papel do CSDV nas células tumorais e descrever o possível efeito antiproliferativo da lidocaína na patogênese das metástases.

Foi realizada uma revisão crítica da literatura de Abril de 2017 a Abril de 2019. Os artigos encontrados no PubMed (2000–2019) foram analisados. Pesquisamos textos de linguagem livre e descritores MeSH-lidocaína; canais de sódio dependentes de voltagem; células tumorais; invadópodes; estresse cirúrgico; proliferação celular; metástase; recorrência do cancer – em artigos publicados em inglês, espanhol e português. Foram selecionadas 62 publicações.

Em estudos empregando animais, a lidocaína atua bloqueando o CSDV e outros receptores, diminuindo a migração, invasão e metástase. Esses estudos precisam ser replicados em humanos submetidos a cirurgia oncológica.


Lidocaína,  Canais de sódio dependentes de voltagem,  Células tumorais,  Invadópodes,  Estresse cirúrgico,  Proliferação celular,  Metástase,  Recorrência do câncer


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