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The 14th World Congress on Pain (IASP) Set to Commence August 27th in Milan


8/24/2012 9:35:30 AM

LONDON, UK (GlobalData), 24 August 2012 - The International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) will kick off the 14th World Congress on Pain on Monday August 27 and promises exciting presentations and discussions, particularly on the topics of neuropathic pain and cancer pain. The IASP is a professional forum for science practice and education in the field of pain, which hosts this world congress every two years, bringing together more than 6,000 of the world’s leading professionals in the field of pain research and treatment. It provides an opportunity for basic scientists, physicians, dentists, psychologists, nurses, physical therapists, pharmacists, and other health professionals working in the pain field to learn about new findings and to exchange ideas. The congress is also of great interest to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry, with several symposia sponsored by industry leaders such as Eli Lilly, Pfizer, Allergan and Medtronic, as well as key presentations by NeurogesX and Vernalis, who will be presenting results of their pain-related clinical trials.

The congress this year features a wide range of topics related to pain, though there appears to be a distinct focus on chronic pain, cancer pain, and neuropathic pain. Neuropathic pain is a complex type of chronic pain that results from an injury to or dysfunction of the nervous system. The normal physiological purpose of pain is to protect the body from further damage or serve as a warning of an underlying problem. However, in the case of neuropathic pain the nervous system breaks down and itself becomes the cause of the pain, which serves no protective or warning purpose. Neuropathic pain often seems to have no obvious cause, but it can be associated with health conditions such as diabetes (diabetic neuropathy), shingles (postherpetic neuralgia), HIV infection (HIV-associated neuropathy) or multiple sclerosis. It may also result from amputations, spine surgery or chemotherapy. Neuropathic pain presents a challenge because it often responds poorly to standard pain treatments and may get worse over time, which can lead to serious disability in some people. Accordingly, there is a great need for therapeutic options that aid in the effective treatment of this condition.

The topic of neuropathic pain will be the focus of a special lecture by Dr. Troels Staehelin Jensen entitled "Neuropathic Pain: Is it an Entity?" to be held on Thursday, August 30. There will also be several industry-sponsored symposia on this topic, including: “Treatment of Painful Diabetic Neuropathy: Adjusting Therapeutic Options to the Patient’s Needs” sponsored by Eli Lilly, “Bridging the Gap Between Clinical Trials and Practice in Neuropathic Pain Treatment” sponsored by Astellas Pharma Europe, and “Tackling the Burden of Patients Suffering from Postherpetic Neuralgia” sponsored by Grünenthal GmbH. NeurogesX will also be presenting data from its Phase II study on NGX-1998 in patients with postherpetic neuralgia. NGX-1998 is a topically applied liquid formulation containing a high concentration of capsaicin designed to treat neuropathic pain. NeurogesX plans to enter Phase III clinical trials of NGX-1998 by the end of this year.

Also featured at this year’s congress will be discussions on cancer pain. Cancer pain can be caused by the disease itself or by treatments and is common in patients – approximately 30% to 50% of people with cancer experience pain while undergoing treatment, and 70% to 90% of people with advanced cancer experience pain. Although 80–90% of cancer pain can be eliminated or well controlled, nearly half of all patients with cancer pain (including those in developed countries) are undertreated. Additionally, there is a minority of cases where the cancer pain is unresponsive to conventional treatment. The congress will feature a plenary session entitled “Cancer Pain: From Mechanism to Therapy” by Dr. Patrick Mantyh of the University of Arizona. In addition to numerous poster presentations on the topic, there will also be a symposium titled, “Cancer in the Bones: Targeting the Pain, Liberating the Patient” sponsored by ProStrakan Group.

Based on the array of posters scheduled to be presented, this congress also promises to deliver new insights on pain mechanisms that will undoubtedly fuel future therapeutic innovations. One such innovation to be presented is V158866, which is under clinical development by Vernalis. V158866 is a fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) inhibitor that has been shown to have efficacy in models of osteoarthritic and neuropathic pain. Vernalis will have a poster presented by Dr. Steve Pawsey, Development Director, that features positive data from its Phase I trial of V158866 in healthy male volunteers. Overall it appears certain that the IASP World Congress on Pain will showcase a wealth of knowledge on pain disorders and their therapeutic interventions.

Related Research: Neuropathic Pain Therapeutics - Pipeline Assessment and Market Forecasts to 2018

Cancer Pain Therapeutics - Pipeline Assessment and Market Forecasts to 2017

This expert insight was written by Dr. Sally Chege, GlobalData Neurology Analyst. For more information or to enquire about an interview, please contact our press team via the details below.

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