Baltimore, Md. – One of the most significant and debilitating complications associated with cancer treatment is pain—pain that sometimes lasts long after treatment ends. With funding from a five-year, $2.4 million P30 grant from the National Institutes of Health National Institute of Nursing Research, the University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON) launched a collaborative Center for Pain Studies at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) to conduct translational research on cancer treatment-related pain, including peripheral neuropathy and oral mucositis. The interdisciplinary Center, spearheaded by UMSON, brings together researchers from UMSON, the University of Maryland School of Medicine, the Dental School, and the University of Maryland Medical Center’s Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center.
“We treat cancer with drugs and radiation to cure the disease, and yet these same treatments can cause pain in people who take them,” says Center Director Susan G. Dorsey, PhD, RN, an associate professor at UMSON and principal investigator of the grant. “We don’t know enough about why the pain occurs in response to cancer treatment to be able to treat the pain to relieve patient suffering. This Center will help fund research aimed at eliminating cancer treatment pain.”
Five pilot studies have been proposed for the Center, each of which is headed by an investigator from the interdisciplinary team. These basic and translational clinical pain studies make the most of shared resources within individual schools and departments on the UMB campus.
“This is UMSON’s first P30, a Center Grant to support shared infrastructure and resources that Pain Center investigators can access to conduct their research,” says Barbara Smith, PhD, RN, FAAN, associate dean for research at UMSON. “We are very excited about the receipt our first P30 grant and we are very proud of Dr. Dorsey and her collaborators.”