Rob Tenbrinck

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Who am I

I'm Rob Tenbrinck MD, PhD, anesthesiologist and painspecialist. Born in 1960, trained by Prof.W Erdmann to become anesthesiologist(1996) in the Academic Hospital Dijkzigt Rotterdam. Worked on high end science projects as Xenon during anesthesia, modern ventilatory techniques, ischemia-reperfusion and organ protection, livertransplantation. Had his PhD in 1995 on the thesis An animal model of diaphragmatic hernia (Prof . B. Lachmann and Prof. D. Tibboel). In 2004 co-promotor of Jan Hofland MD, PhD: Abdominal hemodynamic reperfusion phenomena after hypoxic chemotherapy-perfusion. Changing to the University of Groningen(Netherlands) and RWTH Aachen(Germany) for a few years and returning to Rotterdam as consultant in the academic oncology hospital, part of the new created Erasmus Medical Center. Involved in high-end cancer care for anesthesia, becoming also an official pain specialist since the recognition in Holland 2009.


Involved in the branch of difficult to treat pain: abdominal/thoracic, pelvine and cancer pain. Specialist in palliative care trying to emphasize the importance of high quality of life(QOL) in hospital and at home. The limit advantages of high dose opioids on pain and their disrupting effects on QOL are evident. So there is a necessity in searching for new methods and trying to elucidate the underlying mechanisms. These mechanisms drive right to the immunology and bioscience, as a clinician he found his place in translating these mechanisms to a safe and applicable way in optimal patient treatment. A lecture to his students from 2007 mentioned: multimodal, multidisciplinary, optimization of individual care (MMOI) in pain. During IASP congresses the ideas about underlying mechanisms became more clear. He posted a new thesis in 2018 : Pain is part of neuroinflammation. A mechanistic way of looking at pain with tremendous implications for treatment. In terminal cancer patients this vision was proved by unbelievable rise in QOL of the patients. Reality must proof further the correctness of this theory, but patients should never be the victims of delay. For proper research in this fascinating area we need new scientific tools to evaluate the many interfering (sometimes conflicting, sometimes augmenting) effects. Old school trials are completely useless when only considering the MMOI concepts. One glance on the immunological interference as now known makes these trials look like supplemental Stonehenge relics. So that comes with the new advantages in pain medicine.


Pain management

Involved projects


A global initiative, addressing the global disparity in effective pain relief medication access, especially in low- and middle-income countries. When we started working globally in 2020, we realised just how […]