Palliative Care in Oncology Symposium
Patient-Centered Care Across the Cancer Continuum
October 24-25, 2014
Hello everyone on our discussion board! Today I am attending the inaugural symposium of palliative care in oncology with another advocate, Heidi. We are attending to our booth, distributing information about our foundation, and networking with healthcare providers. We are also attending sessions to gather information about the latest research in palliative care.
The first session we attended was entitled, The Three Ms of Symptom Science- Mechanisms, Measurement, and Management.
Mechanisms driving cancer pain was the initial topic of discussion, presented by Patrick W. Mantyh, PhD, JD from The University of Arizona. Dr. Mantyh stated that the main goal of his work was translation of research from lab based to human based clinical trials on cancer pain.
The main type of pain that Dr. Mantyh discussed was bone pain. This is a very common type of pain for cancer patients due to various factors including bone metastasis. He explained through his presentation that nerve fibers undergo a rapid growth within the tumor that is abnormal. These neuromas, or nerve tumors in bone can spontaneously discharge (suddenly send out a nerve impulse) unrelated to movement of any kind which can cause sudden bone pain. From my understanding, Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) involved in the growth of these neuromas is driven from stromal cells (http://www.cancer.gov/dictionary?cdrid=559134) not just from bone cancers but from other cancers as well.
The main points gleaned from this session are as follows:
1. Start cancer pain management early as this has been shown to diminish the nerve sprouting thereby decreasing the pain
2. Early pain management helps the patient to be more resilient throughout treatment
Mantyh, P.W. (October 24,2014). Mechanisms Driving Cancer Pain. Palliative Care in Oncology Symposium. Lecture conducted from Boston, Massachusetts.
Karen Driskill, CCF Patient Advocate