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Oncologist. 2010;15 Suppl 2:24-9. doi: 10.1634/theoncologist.2009-S502.

Future directions in neuropathic pain therapy: closing the translational loop.

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  • 1University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, USA.


In the majority of patients, existing therapies for neuropathic pain are far from effective. Furthermore, all current treatments are symptomatic rather than disease-modifying or curative. A range of therapeutic modalities is emerging, targeting a variety of mechanisms, but choosing the best target and evaluating the resulting therapies against the many types of neuropathic pain disorders is not an easy task. In this article, we suggest a shift in emphasis of the drug discovery paradigm toward unbiased evaluation of the particular neurobiological mechanisms contributing to neuropathic pain in individual patients. Genomewide association studies and other discovery science approaches to identify significant novel targets should be given priority as should the development of increasingly sophisticated tools for measuring and categorizing neuropathic pain.

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