Proper breakthrough cancer pain (BTcP) treatment is critical. Although rapid-acting fentanyl formulations (rapid-onset opioids, ROOs) are approved for BTcP therapy, not all recommendations encourage their usage. To develop a strong proof, certain research gaps must presumably be filled. A bibliometric network study of ROOs for BTcP therapy is presented.

The documents were obtained from the internet database Web of Science (WOS). The phrase “fast onset opioids” or “transmucosal fentanyl” and “breakthrough cancer pain” were in the string. The following information was extracted: year of publication, journal metrics (impact factor and quartile), title, document type, topic, and clinical context (in-patients, outpatients, and palliative care). The semantic network analyses, bibliographic coupling, journal analysis, and research networks were all examined using the software application VOSviewer.

WOS had 502 items. From 2014 to 2021, there was a downward trend in the number of published papers. Approximately half of the papers concern top quartile (Q1) journals. The majority of papers focused on the effectiveness of ROOs; however, abuse and misuse concerns were not well addressed. In terms of article type, they computed 132 clinical studies. The semantic network analysis discovered relationships between the phrases “breakthrough cancer pain,” “opioids,” and “cancers.” The most often mentioned article was published in 2000 and dealt with pain evaluation. The United States, Italy, and England received the most partnerships. The majority of works in the field were published in prestigious journals. Nonetheless, critical issues must be handled more effectively, and research networks must be established.