Current Pain and Headache Reports

, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 343–349

Spinal Cord Stimulation in the Treatment of Cancer-Related Pain: “Back to the Origins”

Cancer Pain (DA Marcus, Section editor)

DOI: 10.1007/s11916-012-0276-9

Cite this article as:
Flagg, A., McGreevy, K. & Williams, K. Curr Pain Headache Rep (2012) 16: 343. doi:10.1007/s11916-012-0276-9


Spinal cord stimulation (SCS) has been used in the treatment of chronic pain for more than 40 years. The most common indication for SCS in the USA is failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS). Interestingly, the first two spinal cord stimulators ever implanted were in patients suffering from bronchogenic carcinoma and pelvic cancer, respectively. While cancer accounts for millions of deaths each year in the USA, pain is often the first sign of malignancy. An increasing number of people suffer from cancer-related pain each year and many receive suboptimal relief. Given the demonstrated value of spinal cord stimulation in the treatment of neuropathic pain, spinal cord stimulation should be considered “earlier” as an adjunct to the treatment of cancer-related pain. In addition, with the improving survival rates associated with advances in cancer treatment, spinal cord stimulation may help reduce the risk of development of chronic neuropathic pain in survivors.


Spinal cord stimulation Cancer pain Neuropathic pain Implantable technologies 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Artemus FlaggII
    • 1
  • Kai McGreevy
    • 2
  • Kayode Williams
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care MedicineJohns Hopkins School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Southeast Spine and RehabilitationKingslandUSA

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