PURPOSE OF REVIEW: We will evaluate the usefulness of the new intrathecal analgesic ziconotide in palliative care medicine. We will also examine the place and efficacy of neurolytic celiac plexus blockade in patients suffering from malignancy in the upper abdomen, after introducing better localization methods of the celiac plexus. RECENT FINDINGS: The analgesic effects of intrathecally administered ziconotide have been studied in patients suffering from pain due to AIDS or cancer. The results show a moderate to complete pain relief, significantly better than in placebo groups. However, safety studies show a high incidence of side effects. The technique of neurolytic celiac plexus blocks is refined by endoscopic ultrasound techniques. SUMMARY: The place of ziconotide in palliative care is doubtful due to unpredictable and sometimes long-lasting side effects. Real evidence on the efficacy and duration of neurolytic celiac plexus blocks for relief of pancreatic cancer pain is still not available. Future studies will need to be performed applying validated measurement instruments and assessing the patient's impression of the procedure's demands in terms of physical and mental tolerance.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Current opinion in supportive and palliative care|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2007|