Using Animal Models to Understand Cancer Pain in Humans

  • Gillian L. Currie
  • Emily S. Sena
  • Marie T. Fallon
  • Malcolm R. Macleod
  • Lesley A. Colvin
Cancer Pain (D Marcus, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Cancer Pain


Cancer pain is not a single entity but a complex pain state involving different pain syndromes, with inflammatory, neuropathic, compressive, and ischaemic mechanisms. Current therapeutic regimens are based largely on opioids, although opioid treatment can lead to many side effects. Studies using animal models of cancer pain are aimed at understanding cancer pain and developing novel therapies. The most frequently reported models are of bone cancer pain, predominantly modelling pain associated with tumour growth within bone marrow. Here we summarise recent findings from studies using animal models of cancer pain and discuss the methodological quality of these studies.


Cancer pain Animal models Neuropathic pain Inflammation Opioid treatment 


Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

Conflict of Interest

Dr. Gillian L. Currie, Dr. Emily S. Sena, Dr. Marie T. Fallon, Dr. Malcolm R. Macleod and Dr. Lesley A. Colvin each declare no potential conflicts of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gillian L. Currie
    • 1
  • Emily S. Sena
    • 1
    • 4
  • Marie T. Fallon
    • 2
  • Malcolm R. Macleod
    • 1
  • Lesley A. Colvin
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Clinical Neurosciences, Chancellor’s BuildingUniversity of EdinburghEdinburghUK
  2. 2.Edinburgh Cancer Research UK CentreUniversity of Edinburgh, Western General HospitalEdinburghUK
  3. 3.Department of Anaesthesia, Critical Care and Pain MedicineWestern General HospitalEdinburghUK
  4. 4.Stroke DivisionFlorey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental HealthMelbourneAustralia

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