Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Electrical Nerve Stimulation May Help Reduce Chronic Pain In Cancer Patients, Say UT Southwestern Researchers

Date:
January 27, 1999
Source:
University Of Texas Southwestern Medical Center At Dallas
Summary:
Borrowing from the ancient practice of Chinese acupuncture, a newly developed electrical nerve-stimulation technique may help alleviate pain associated with cancer that has spread to bones, said researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.

DALLAS - January 25, 1999 - Borrowing from the ancient practice of Chinese acupuncture, a newly developed electrical nerve-stimulation technique may help alleviate pain associated with cancer that has spread to bones, said researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.

In the December issue of The Clinical Journal of Pain, UT Southwestern scientists detail findings that Percutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (PENS), a technique that involves the insertion of acupuncture-like needles into the soft tissue surrounding bones, produced significant acute pain relief in patients. During the procedure, a small electrical current is passed through the needles, apparently disrupting normal pain signals by stimulating local nerves.

Some cancers that spread to bone (bony metastases) can trigger severe chronic pain that is often unresponsive to analgesic drugs, including morphine. Researchers have found that PENS may reduce the need for narcotics and other more invasive procedures, such as spinal-cord stimulation, by becoming part of an interdisciplinary approach to treating pain associated with certain types of cancers and, eventually, other chronic conditions.

"Our goal is to complement, not eliminate, other pain-management techniques by introducing PENS as an integral part of a comprehensive patient-care program," said Dr. Paul White, professor of anesthesiology and pain management at UT Southwestern. "By helping patients avoid the side effects and expense of more invasive procedures, we feel PENS can improve the quality of life of patients suffering from some cancer-related pain. Our research is still very preliminary, but we're very excited about what it suggests and anticipate further success in future clinical trials."

In this anecdotal report, which details the cases of three patients treated with PENS, two of the patients - one with prostate cancer and spinal metastases, and the other with rectal cancer with bone involvement - reported a significant reduction in pain after only 30 minutes of stimulation. But the treatment failed to provide any marked relief for a third patient with metastatic gallbladder cancer who had no evidence of bone involvement.

"Although PENS does not appear to be as effective in treating patients whose cancer has not spread to the bones, we've seen very encouraging results in those with bony metastases," said White. "Pain is such a frustrating element to deal with, for both doctors and patients, which makes these preliminary findings all the more exciting. Any stride we can make in aiding the comfort of our patients, particularly those with terminal diseases, is an important one."

Other Eugene McDermott Center for Pain Management investigators involved in the project include UT Southwestern researchers Dr. Philip Huber, professor of GI/endocrine surgery; Dr. Hesham Ahmed, clinical pain research fellow; and Dr. William Craig, clinical assistant professor of anesthesiology and pain management.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Texas Southwestern Medical Center At Dallas. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Texas Southwestern Medical Center At Dallas. "Electrical Nerve Stimulation May Help Reduce Chronic Pain In Cancer Patients, Say UT Southwestern Researchers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 January 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/01/990127081742.htm>.
University Of Texas Southwestern Medical Center At Dallas. (1999, January 27). Electrical Nerve Stimulation May Help Reduce Chronic Pain In Cancer Patients, Say UT Southwestern Researchers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/01/990127081742.htm
University Of Texas Southwestern Medical Center At Dallas. "Electrical Nerve Stimulation May Help Reduce Chronic Pain In Cancer Patients, Say UT Southwestern Researchers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/01/990127081742.htm (accessed September 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How The 'Angelina Jolie Effect' Increased Cancer Screenings

How The 'Angelina Jolie Effect' Increased Cancer Screenings

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) Angelina's Jolie's decision to undergo a preventative mastectomy in 2013 inspired many women to seek early screenings for the disease. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Cost of Ebola

The Cost of Ebola

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 18, 2014) As Sierra Leone prepares for a three-day "lockdown" in its latest bid to stem the spread of Ebola, Ciara Lee looks at the financial implications of fighting the largest ever outbreak of the disease. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins