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Randomized Controlled Trial
, 16, 20

Invasive Treatment of Pain Associated With Pancreatic Cancer on Different Levels of WHO Analgesic Ladder

Randomized Controlled Trial

Invasive Treatment of Pain Associated With Pancreatic Cancer on Different Levels of WHO Analgesic Ladder

Łukasz Dobosz et al. BMC Surg.


Background: Pancreatic cancer is a malignant neoplasm with a high mortality rate, often associated with a delayed diagnosis, the early occurrence of metastasis and an overall, poor response to chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Pain management in pancreatic cancer consists mainly of pharmacological treatment according to the WHO analgesic ladder. Surgical treatment for pain relief, such as splanchnicectomy, is considered amongst the final step of pain management. It has been proven that splanchnicectomy is a safe procedure with a small percentage of complications, nevertheless, it is often used as a last resort, which can significantly decrease its effectiveness. Performance of thoracoscopic splanchnicectomy along the first step of the analgesic ladder may lead to long-lasting protection against the presence and severity of pain.

Methods/design: A prospective, open label, 1:1 randomized, controlled trial, conducted at a single institution to determine the effectiveness of invasive treatment of pain via splanchnicectomy, in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer. The size of tested group will consist of 26 participants in each arm of the trial, to evaluate the level of pain relief and its impact on quality of life. To evaluate the influence on patients' rate of overall survival, a sample size of 105 patients is necessary, in each trial arm. Assessments will not only include the usage of analgesic pharmacotherapy throughout the course of disease, and overall patient survival, but also subjective pain perception at rest, in movement, and after meals (measured by NRS score questionnaire), the patient's quality of life (measured using the QLQ-C30 and FACIT questionnaires), and any pain-related suffering (measured with the PRISM projection test). The primary endpoint will consist of pain intensity. Questionnaires will be obtained upon the initial visit, the day of surgery, the day after surgery, as well as during long-term follow-up visits, held every two weeks thereafter.

Discussion: Earlier implementation of invasive treatment, such as thoracoscopic splanchnicectomy, can provide a higher efficacy of pain management, prevent deterioration in the patient's quality of life, and lengthen their overall survival.

Trial registration: identifier: NCT02424279. Date of registration January 2, 2015.

Keywords: Pain; Pancreatic cancer; Splanchnicectomy.


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