Novel analgesic interventions in cancer-induced bone pain
Currie, Gillian Laura
Cancer-induced bone pain (CIBP), due to bony metastases, is a major clinical problem, significantly reducing quality of life in cancer patients. Current therapies often provide inadequate analgesia or unacceptable side effects. The aim of this thesis was to characterise behaviours of a preclinical model of CIBP and test novel analgesic interventions in this model. A secondary aim was to investigate the involvement of the N-methyl-D-Aspartate (NMDA) receptors and TRP channels (TRPM8, TRPV1 and TRPV4) in CIBP. Investigation of CIBP in a preclinical model may lead to better pain management in CIBP patients. The results presented here demonstrate that this model of CIBP develops behaviours that may be indicative of mechanical allodynia, thermal sensitivity, movement-evoked pain, ongoing pain and spontaneous pain. This suggests that this model reflects the clinical condition of CIBP, where patients suffer from constant background pain with spontaneous and movement-related breakthrough pain. In this study it was found that radiotherapy significantly attenuated movement-evoked pain and thermal sensitivity to 20°C and 40°C. XRT also significantly reduced anxiety and risk assessment behaviours (grooming behaviour and number of protected stretch attends) compared to untreated CIBP. Duloxetine attenuated CIBP-induced mechanical allodynia, thermal sensitivity to 40°C and movement-evoked pain, whereas S,S-reboxetine attenuated thermal sensitivity to 40°C but did not effect CIBP-induced mechanical allodynia or movement-evoked pain. In addition, CB 65 attenuated movement-evoked pain and thermal sensitivity to 40°C. A single dose of gabapentin did not attenuate CIBP-induced mechanical allodynia, thermal sensitivity to 40°C or movement-evoked pain. These studies confirm that the CIBP model shows characteristics and pharmacological sensitivities consistent with known and predicted mechanisms and validate it as a useful model for assessing potential new treatments proposed for use in patients. Behavioural results suggest that NMDA receptors containing the NR2A subunit are involved in CIBP-induced movement-evoked pain. This suggests that NR2A antagonists may be useful for treating CIBP-induced movement-evoked pain. Additionally, results show that there is increased expression of NR2A in the laminae I, II and III in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord. XRT treated animals also showed increased expression of NR2A in laminae I and II. The selective involvement of NR2A in CIBP is different to other chronic pain states, for example, neuropathic pain states that appear to involve the NR2B subunit. The TRPV1 antagonist AMG 9810 did not attenuate mechanical allodynia, thermal sensitivity to 40°C or movement-evoked pain. Interestingly, the TRPM8 agonist icilin attenuated movement-evoked pain, which suggests that icilin might be useful in the treatment of movement-evoked pain. The TRPV4 antagonist RN 1734 attenuated mechanical allodynia, thermal sensitivity to 40°C and movement-evoked pain in CIBP. This suggests RN 1734 may be useful in the treatment of mechanical allodynia, thermal sensitivity to 40°C and movement-evoked pain in CIBP. Results show that the expression of TRPV4 is increased in DRG ipsilateral to the cancerbearing tibia. In conclusion, these results show that the preclinical model of CIBP investigated in this thesis is suitable for testing novel analgesic interventions. This thesis identified some useful targets for the analgesic treatment of CIBP and results suggest that many different mechanisms contribute to CIBP. A point to consider is that any robust effective treatment may need to target all (or at least several) of these mechanisms.