Patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) may have another option for the management of difficult-to-control pain, according to a case study published in the October 2020 issue of JA Clinical Reports.

Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that develops in the lining of the lungs. It is caused by asbestos exposure and can take decades to present with symptoms. By the time most people are diagnosed, the tumors have spread too far to be removed completely, and the prognosis is generally grim.

Patients with MPM frequently complain of devastating pain that is resistant to conservative treatments. This nociceptive and/or neuropathic pain is caused by the direct infiltration of the disease into the chest wall and nerves. It is generally resistant to multiple analgesics.

Spinal cord stimulation, or SCS, is a procedure that involves the implantation of a neuromodulation device that sends electrical signals to select areas of the spinal cord to treat pain. It may be used to ease this pain in MPM patients. But the appropriate timing of its application remains unknown. Researchers from Kyushu University Hospital in Japan recorded their findings in treating a 66-year-old man with MPM using spinal cord stimulation.

What they found is that timing is key. “This report suggests that the execution of SCS as soon as possible may help to alleviate MPM symptoms,” the researchers concluded. “Since MPM extends aggressively to the thorax and nerves that cause mixed nociceptive and/or neuropathic pain, appropriate pain management requires the proper assessment of the etiology by an expert in pain management.”

Mesothelioma litigation

Beasley Allen lawyers handle mesothelioma claims. They are looking at cases of industrial, occupational and secondary asbestos exposure resulting in lung cancer or mesothelioma as well as claims of asbestos-related talc products linked to mesothelioma. Charlie Stern in our Toxic Torts Section is the lead attorney working on these types of cases. As an experienced mesothelioma lawyer, Charlie is well equipped to tackle asbestos cases, which are highly complicated and require someone with a true understanding of the facts, medical issues, science and law. He is working together with Will Sutton, an experienced lawyer in our Toxic Torts Section. Contact us for more information.

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