CNS ablation for cancer pain: what's old is new again

Tumor-attributable pain affects 90% of patients with cancer,1 and as the cancer advances the pain becomes more severe. So not only is pain common, it also becomes more impactful as the end of life approaches.

There are good drugs available to treat the pain – opioids, for example – but in certain cases they are not enough. So, if you can't treat or eliminate the primary source of the pain – that is, the cancer – can we think of the pain as an independent condition? If we consider the pain itself the condition to treat, then we could try to modulate how the body deals with the pain.