The intense pain many patients with pancreatic cancer experience may be reduced by more than 50 percent using a nerve block technique along with the standard pain-relieving medications. That is the finding of a Mayo Clinic study that will be published in the March 3 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
The study also found that the neurolytic celiac plexus block (NCPB), the type of nerve block used, continued to provide sustained pain relief over several months. This benefit may allow some patients with advanced pancreatic cancer to live more comfortably for the duration of their lives.
The Mayo Clinic study is the largest research study to date on managing pain in patients with pancreatic cancer, using the NCPB technique along with pain-relieving medications compared to pain-relieving medications alone. The study was led by Gilbert Wong, M.D., a Mayo Clinic anesthesiologist specializing in pain medicine, who also heads the Mayo Clinic Cancer Centers Psychosocial Oncology Group.
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