Subarachnoid Techniques for Cancer Pain Therapy: When, Why, and How?
For cancer patients who obtain inadequate pain relief with conservative treatment, there is a growing list of effective options for subarachnoid therapy. Morphine and bupivacaine have been the most frequently used drugs for intrathecal infusion, and their use has consistently yielded good results. Despite their effectiveness, however, a therapeutic deficit remains, primarily in the treatment of neuropathic cancer pain. Because of this limitation, more recent research has focused on novel compounds for intrathecal therapy such as clonidine, midazolam, ketamine, and SNX-111. In addition to new drug options, there are various catheter delivery systems from which to choose. In reviewing the literature and experience to date with these various medications and delivery systems, we hope to better aid the clinician in tailoring the best treatment for each patient.