PURPOSE: Purpose of this study was to retrospectively review our experience of multidisciplinary clinic providing a joint approach by radiation oncologist and anesthetist for patients with cancer pain to evaluate the adequacy and the IMprovement in MAnagement (IM-MA study) of this symptom.
METHODS: A Team for Pain Management (TPM) represented by radiation oncologist and anesthetist weekly provided consultations to patient presenting cancer pain. TPM prospectively reported epidemiologic, symptomatic, and pharmacological data. TPM modified pain therapy and indicated antalgic radiotherapy. Patients were evaluated at baseline and after 4 weeks after intervention.
RESULTS: From November 2015 to April 2016, 65 patients were evaluated by TPM. At the baseline, 18 patients (27.7%) were undertreated (i.e., receiving inadequate pain management); furthermore, 27 patients (41.5%) despite receiving strong opioids had uncontrolled pain. After 4 weeks from intervention, undertreated patients were reduced to 1.53%. For those patients undergone to radiotherapy, response at 34 weeks was scored as follows: complete response 28.8%, partial response 46.7%, pain progression 0.95%, indeterminate response 23.8%.
CONCLUSIONS: A multidisciplinary Team for Pain Management improved the clinical management, optimizing pain control and increasing adequacy of pharmacological management. The TPM intervention seems particularly worth for patients presenting specific features including BTcP, neuropathic pain, severe pain due to bone metastases, and any potential candidate to radiotherapy. Larger series and QoL questionnaires are required to confirm these results.