Research

Clinical Research Program

A strong clinical management program provides the basic foundation for a clinical research program.   The clinical component of the pain research program is unique in that it feeds off of the intense preclinical program that has and will continue to be developed.  This has allowed organization of clinical research protocols based on good science.  Dr. Wallace and Dr. Yaksh have developed a strong clinical research program strongly linked to the preclinical work.  The program has the following components.

1.  Pharmacology of Human Experimental Pain

Several specific mechanisms have been proposed for encoding nociception.  We have implemented human models that  are believed to reflect these mechanisms and can employ them in normal human volunteers.  These models involve both experimental pain states in human volunteers and neuropathic pain states. Examples of cancer pain syndromes that we believe are fitted by these models include postmastectomy pain, postherpetic neuralgia, radiation-induced neuritis, chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy, and tumor invasion of peripheral nerves.

2.  Alternative Therapies for Pain

Currently, patients spend billions of dollars per year on alternative health care in spite of lack of solid scientific support.  NIH has initiated a section on integrative medicine that signals the importance of this aspect of medicine.  We currently have research protocols in place looking at the effects of acupuncture on pain and symptom

3.  Preclinical Directed Research

Much of the work of the preclinical group feeds information into the clinical research program.  Information gathered from this preclinical work is used to develop clinical research protocols.  These involve the use of existing drugs and lead to the development of new drugs that require an IND and phase I studies.

4.  Clinical Trials in Pain

There are many new analgesics emerging in the market.  Pharmaceutical companies are looking for reliable sites to study these new drugs.  We have developed a service that is user friendly to these companies.  Our service currently has a good track record with phase I-IV clinical trials.  We have been very successful with patient enrollment but can always do better.  For information of currently active clinical trials, please contact Vicky Lam at vylam@ucsd.edu or (858)657-7099.