The Sol Goldman Pancreatic Cancer Research Center

Pain & Quality of Life

The Investigation of a Technique to Reduce Cancer-Associated Pain and Improve Quality of Life in Patients Undergoing Surgery for Pancreatic Cancer

Physical pain and quality of life go hand in hand for every patient, especially those with a diagnosis of Pancreatic Cancer. The diagnosis of this disease, the numerous treatment regimens, and the inevitable stress and emotional rollercoaster all play a tremendous part in the physical pain a patient feels and the resulting quality of life this patient is experiencing.

In 1993, we found that intra-operative celiac plexus neurolysis (CPN) performed on patients with a pancreatic cancer that could not be surgically removed (resected) had a significant reduction in cancer-associated pain and improved survival. It is possible that CPN may have a similar benefit to patients undergoing surgery to remove the pancreatic cancer (Whipple Operation). However, to date, no investigation has been performed to confirm this possibility. Therefore, Dr. Christopher Wolfgang and Cathy Stanfield, CRNP, of the pancreatic surgery team are heading an investigation to address this issue.

Specifically, this study will assess the ability of intra-operative CPN to alleviate cancer-associated pain and improve quality of life in patients undergoing curative surgery. (Whipple Operation). Information regarding a patient's level of pain and quality of life following CPN will be gathered by way of a questionnaire. Patients enrolled in this study will continue to receive all other standard therapies for pain in addition to the CPN. Anyone undergoing surgery for pancreatic cancer will be given the opportunity to participate.

For further information on this study, please contact Cathy Stanfield.