Allison Gandey

February 03, 2010

February 3, 2010 — Specialists are heading to San Antonio for the American Academy of Pain Medicine's 26th Annual Meeting. Pain physicians will gather in the second largest city in the state of Texas to discuss advances in management and treatment.

The meeting starts Wednesday.

San Antonio's historic River Walk extends more than 2 miles.

"We are poised to learn more about up-and-coming treatments for pain such as biologics, updates on newer, nonopioid approaches like peripheral nerve stimulation, as well as discuss how the coming healthcare reform will affect the way pain physicians care for their patients," Eduardo Fraifeld, MD, president-elect of the academy said in a news release. Dr. Fraifeld is from Southside Pain Solutions in Danville, Virginia.

Among the meeting highlights, new clinical trial results will be presented on the anti–nerve growth factor antibody tanezumab.

"This could represent the future of what we do," conference cochair Timothy Deer, MD, president and chief executive officer of the Center for Pain Relief in Charleston, West Virginia, told Medscape Neurology. "We will likely be seeing tanezumab clinically in 3 to 5 years."

New trial results for low back pain will also be presented, including a once-daily dose of duloxetine and another study evaluating carisoprodol.

"Many of these drugs will be helpful but not revolutionary," Dr. Deer said. Adverse events have plagued a number of potential advances in low back pain. "This has limited their usefulness," he noted.

Lynn Webster, MD, from Lifetree Clinical Research and Pain Clinic in Salt Lake City, Utah, will be presenting new data examining the risk of overdose deaths in patients taking methadone for chronic pain.

"This is a very important study," Dr. Deer said. "Methadone is a great drug and it works, but for many, the risks really outweigh the benefits. There are many things for clinicians to consider and most patients could benefit from alternatives."

This could represent the future of what we do.

The findings are expected to have important implications for the US Food and Drug Administration's risk evaluation and management strategies.

Dr. Timothy Deer

A mock legal trial will also be presented. The case will cover interventional procedures and medical management issues in the use of opioids. The trial will address what every physician should know about courtroom procedures, legal proceedings, testimony, and jury verdicts.

Steven Delaronde, MPH, MSW, will be presenting on pain practice patterns across the United States. The discussion period at the session will address lessons learned from commercial insurance claims data. Attendees will be encouraged to use the information to help evaluate how their pain practices are measuring up.

"Pain is the most common reason in this country for patients to visit their physicians," conference cochair Ajay Wasan, MD, from the Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts, said in a news release.

"It's the one meeting in the country where members can get a very broad education in everything from practice management and risk reduction to genetic therapies and implantable devices," Dr. Deer added.

The Medscape Neurology news team will be reporting onsite in San Antonio, attending sessions, gathering commentary and reaction from speakers and attendees, and delivering all the latest news.

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