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1.  Recent Progress in Pancreatic Cancer 
Pancreatic cancer is currently one of the deadliest of the solid malignancies. However, surgery to resect neoplasms of the pancreas is safer and less invasive than ever, novel drug combinations have been shown to improve survival, advances in radiation therapy have resulted in less toxicity, and enormous strides have been made in our understanding of the fundamental genetics of pancreatic cancer. These advances provide hope but they also increase the complexity of caring for patients. It is clear that multidisciplinary care that provides comprehensive and coordinated evaluation and treatment is the most effective way to manage patients with pancreatic cancer.
doi:10.3322/caac.21190
PMCID: PMC3769458  PMID: 23856911
pancreatic neoplasms; molecular biology; radiology; radiation oncology; medical oncology
2.  Pain Management in Pancreatic Cancer 
Cancers  2010;3(1):43-60.
A majority of pancreatic cancer patients present with pain at the time of diagnosis. Pain management can be challenging in light of the aggressive nature of this cancer. Apart from conventional pharmacotherapy, timely treatment with neurolytic celiac plexus block (NCPB) has been shown to be of benefit. NCPB has demonstrated efficacious pain control in high quality studies with analgesic effects lasting one to two months. NCPB has also shown to decrease the requirements of narcotics, and thus decrease opioid related side effects. Another option for the control of moderate to severe pain is intrathecal therapy (IT). Delivery of analgesic medications intrathecally allows for lower dosages of medications and thus reduced toxicity. Both of the above mentioned interventional procedures have been shown to have low complication rates, and be safe and effective. Ultimately, comprehensive pancreatic cancer pain management necessitates understanding of pain mechanisms and delivery of sequential validated therapeutic interventions within a multidisciplinary patient care model.
doi:10.3390/cancers3010043
PMCID: PMC3756348  PMID: 24212605
pancreatic cancer; neurolytic celiac plexus block; intrathecal therapy; opioids; pain
3.  A Prospective, Observational Study of the Relationship Between Body Mass Index and Depth of the Epidural Space During Lumbar Transforaminal Epidural Steroid Injection 
Background and Objectives
Previous studies have concluded that transforaminal epidural steroid injections (ESIs) are more effective than interlaminar injections in the treatment of radiculopathies due to lumbar intervertebral disk herniation. There are no published studies examining the depth of epidural space using a transforaminal approach. We investigated the relationship between body mass index (BMI) and the depth of the epidural space during lumbar transforaminal ESIs.
Methods
Eighty-six consecutive patients undergoing lumbar transforaminal ESI at the L3-L4, L4-L5, and L5-S1 levels were studied. Using standard protocol, the foraminal epidural space was attained using fluoroscopic guidance. The measured distance from needle tip to skin was recorded (depth to foraminal epidural space). The differences in the needle depth and BMI were analyzed using regression analysis.
Results
Needle depth was positively associated with BMI (regression coefficient [RC], 1.13; P < 0.001). The median depths (in centimeters) to the epidural space were 6.3, 7.5, 8.4, 10.0, 10.4, and 12.2 for underweight, normal, preobese, obese I, obese II, and obese III classifications, respectively. Sex (RC, 1.3; P = 0.02) and race (RC, 0.8; P = 0.04) were also significantly associated with needle depth; however, neither factor remained significant when BMI was accounted as a covariate in the regression model. Age, intervertebral level treated, and oblique angle had no predictive value on foraminal depth (P > 0.2).
Conclusion
There is a positive association between BMI and transforaminal epidural depth, but not with age, sex, race, oblique angle, or intervertebral level.
doi:10.1097/AAP.0b013e31819a12ba
PMCID: PMC2715548  PMID: 19282707

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