Assessment of pain in cancer survivors


Persistent pain in cancer survivors: how to assess in a clinical practice

In clinical practice, guidelines for a comprehensive diagnosis of pain in cancer survivors are lacking. Several valid questionnaires exist to identify neuropathic pain in a clinical setting. However, these tools cannot discriminate between neuropathic and CS pain resulting in overestimation of neuropathic pain. Consequently, there is an urgent need for an improved tool for the identification of CS pain. Up to date, Quantitative Sensory Tests (QST) are the most reliable for the exclusion of neuropathic pain and the detection of CS: detection and pain thresholds of touch, pressure pain and thermal thresholds are used to assess the sensory functions and pain in different, mostly chronic pain populations. Additionally, Conditioned Pain Modulation (CPM) and Temporal Summation (TS), which is considered as a part of QST, are used to assess altered facilitating and inhibitory pain mechanisms. Unfortunately, these laboratory tests are expensive, complex and time-consuming. Therefore, there is an urgent need for an easy-to-use assessment tool, which includes clinical signs and symptoms to distinguish neuropathic, nociceptive and CS pain in all types of cancer survivors with persistent pain.

> CarEdOn primary researchers: Prof. An De Groef, Prof. Mira Meeus, Prof. Nele Devoogdt

> Research partners: Drs. Vincent Haenen, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences and Physiotherapy, MOVANT. University of Antwerp (Belgium), Prof. Dr. Morlion, Bart. The Leuven Center for Algology and Pain Management, KU Leuven - University of Leuven (Belgium)

> Funding: Research Foundation Flanders

> Keywords: cancer populations, pain, sensory function, quantitative sensory testing

> Contact:,


Starting date
Status reference