A new method for treating chronic pain including cancer pain

Unmet Need

According to the CDC, chronic pain has been linked to numerous physical and mental conditions and contributes to high health care costs and low productivity. Available studies estimate that the prevalence of chronic pain among adults in the United States ranges from 11% to 40%. Additionally, most patients with advanced-stage cancers experience chronic pain, but fewer than half report pain relief from currently available treatment options. The therapeutics used to treat chronic pain have demonstrated moderate efficacy, often elicit severe side effects, and can be highly addictive. There is a need for effective, non-addictive therapeutic approaches to treat neuropathic pain.

Technology

Duke inventors have reported a new method for treating chronic neuropathic pain that could be especially helpful for cancer. Specifically, they found that activation of STING in sensory neurons can provide robust and long-lasting pain relief in several chronic pain conditions, including cancer pain. These effects depend primarily on STING-mediated type-I interferon. Using preclinical mouse models, the inventors found that intrathecal or systemic administration of the natural STING agonist, 3'3'-cGAMP, and the human STING agonist, ADU-S100, potently suppress pain associated with bone cancer, nerve injury, and chemotherapy.

Advantages

  • Offers a first-in-class non-opioid strategy for combating chronic pain
  • Demonstrated to produce robust and sustained pain alleviation over a longer period of time at an exceptionally lower dose when compared to morphine
  • Could provide a “two birds, one stone” approach to treating both the cancer itself and cancer-associated pain