Cancer bone pain – cause found, drug already on market


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Researchers find cause and possible relief of cancer bone pain

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Provided by: Saint Louis University websitesearch and more info

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“In a paper published in the journal Pain, Saint Louis University researcher Daniela Salvemini, Ph.D., reports discovering a key molecular pathway that drives cancer-related bone pain while providing a potential solution with a drug that already is on the market….

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Metastatic pain is the single most common form of cancer pain. Cancer-induced bone pain (CIBP) is reported by 30 to 50 percent of all cancer patients and by 75 to 90 percent of late-stage patients. CIBP is driven by a combination of tumor-associated skeletal, inflammatory and neuropathic mechanisms….

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In previous work, Salvemini discovered pain pathways – the molecular series of events that lead to pain – that helped researchers understand how pain occurs. One molecule that the pathways are dependent upon is called S1PR1 (sphingosine 1-phosphate receptor subtype 1). By modulating this molecule, scientists were able to block and reverse pain. This finding is particularly encouraging because a drug that modulates S1PR1 already is on the market.

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Salvemini’s current paper reports an experiment her team conducted studying an animal model of breast cancer that has metastasized to the femur. The researchers observed in the spinal cord changes to key pathways suggesting that increases in sphingosine 1-phosphate are a key component of developing pain and that blocking this signal limits pain.

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The research team found that targeting S1PR1 mitigates bone pain and neuroinflammation, and identifies S1PR1 as a potential therapeutic target alone or as a secondary therapy to address cancer-induced bone pain.

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Salvemini’s notable career includes studying with a Nobel Laureate, discovering peroxynitrite, a key molecule in the development of pain and inflammation, and uncovering some of the reasons why certain chemotherapy drugs can cause patients extreme and lasting pain. Salvemini has been honored by the Academy of Science of St. Louis for her contribution to our understanding of pain with the Fellows Award, which recognizes a distinguished individual for outstanding achievement in science.

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“Dr. Salvemini has contributed more to the eventual control of pain and opioid-induced tolerance than anyone else currently working in the field,” the Academy notes.”

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Explore further: Researchers show that A3 adenosine receptor can activate ‘off signals’ for pain

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More information: Shaness A. Grenald et al, Targeting the S1P/S1PR1 axis mitigates cancer-induced bone pain and neuroinflammation, PAIN (2017). DOI: 10.1097/j.pain.0000000000000965

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