ST . LOUIS (KMOX) – Local researchers find a way to deal with cancer-related bone pain.

Cancer-related bone pain is a huge problem for the patient, the care-giver, the family and the doctors.

“Metastatic pain is probably one of the most common forms of cancer pain,” says SLU Care pain researcher Dr. Daniela Salvemini, a professor of pharmacology and physiology. “It’s very, very difficult to manage. It is typically reported in between 30 to 50 percent of most cancer patients, and at least 70 percent in the late stage cancer patients.

Dr. Salvemini says they’ve made significant progress in understanding how bone cancer causes pain, and that a drug already used to treat multiple sclerosis could be a potential new therapy for cancer pain.

The FDA approved that drug for use in 2010.

“If we selectively target and block that (pain) receptor, we can reverse the pain dramatically,” says Salvemini.

She says that’s very exciting.

“What’s also very exciting is that this particular drug target is also moving forward as a novel anti-cancer approach, so we have a potential here to block cancer development and also block cancer pain,” she says.

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