$6 Million Grant to Fund Study of Non-Opioid Pain Management in Cancer Survivors

Donald Baird Penzien, PhDIn an effort to find a nonpharmaceutical approach to pain management for cancer survivors, researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Health have been awarded $6 million from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to test the effectiveness of a web-based pain management program.

An example of web-based pain management includes cognitive behavioral therapy provided through a secure online connection. The five-year grant is a supplement to the $25 million grant Wake Forest Baptist received in 2019 from the NCI’s Community Oncology Research Program.

“On average, as many as 40% of people who go through cancer treatment are left with some kind of residual and persistent pain,” said Donald B. Penzien, PhD, principal investigator of the study and professor of psychiatry and behavioral medicine at Wake Forest School of Medicine. “Unfortunately, cancer survivors have few viable treatment options other than opioids to help them manage their pain.”