Pancreatic cancer and pain
November 16, 2020
Pancreatic cancer and pain and quality of life

In 2012 Inspire2Live visited dr. Tuveson in Cambridge and had a discussion on pancreatic cancer. ‘Pain is the most important thing pancreatic cancer patients have to deal with. When we take away the pain, we give them 6 to 12 months more with a good quality of life. Nobody is doing research on pain’.

This year we encountered dr. Rob Tenbrinck. An anaesthesiologist and pain specialist from ErasmusMC, Rotterdam. He is experienced in cancer pain and palliative care. Dr. Tenbrinck and colleagues did research on several medications (multimodal) to treat cancer pain. They plea for a paradigm shift in treating pain according to a mechanism, gradually elucidated. Opiates show unwanted and hardly recognized side effects which often can be decreased.

Our purpose is to raise the quality of life to a considerable extent. According to the latest publications, inflammation plays an imminent role in pain; chronic pain should be considered as a systemic disease with many parts/organs dependently involved. One of the drugs they have (off-label) experience with, is lidocaine. Cheap and safe within the pain mechanism as known till now.

Dr. Tenbrinck has treated many patients with cancer and pain and also with pancreatic cancer. Reducing side effects and pain by using a rationale for oncologic pain; most of these patients can reduce opiates, some of them can even stop. Their quality of life increases quickly. Although many pancreatic cancer patients are palliative, the necessary increase in quality of life improves the last phase and might even prolong the living. A particularly challenging aspect for future research in general and neglected till now.

Inspire2Live is now active in different areas:

  • with Dutch academia (not yet certain which centre) we’ll setup a trial with lidocaine to proof that it works (it does, there are many cases)
  • with dr. Wasif Saif from Northwell Health Cancer Institute and dr. Tuveson from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories we’ll do the same as mentioned above
  • dr. Rob Tenbrinck is presenting his paradigm shift November 21st at the virtual Kenya International Cancer Conference
  • with representatives from Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria we’ve made a webinar (with dr. Tenbrinck) on pain management in Africa and will train anaesthesiologists to make the paradigm shift happen
  • we’ll bring the knowledge and experience to different parts of the world via our Inspire2Live World Campus
  • we organize a ‘Declaration on pancreatic cancer and pain’. This will be signed by top researchers at our Annual Congress 2022.

Should you have any further questions, do not hesitate to contact me.

Peter Kapitein
CEO and Patient Advocate Inspire2Live