Neurosurgical advances in cancer pain management

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Neurosurgical procedures to treat pain are mainly destructive and involve the spinal cord and occasionally the brain. Targets include the spinothalamic tract, the trigeminal tract nucleus, the midline ascending visceral pain pathway, the brainstem spinal lemniscus, the thalamus, and the cingulate gyrus. Since the introduction of intrathecal opioids, the need for neurosurgical destructive procedures has been in decline. In recent years, cordotomy, trigeminal tractotomy, and dorsal root entry zone (DREZ) operations are the neurosurgical procedures most often utilized to treat cancer pain. The addition of CT guidance to spinal cord pain pathway ablation was a major addition and refinement to the procedure. Here the authors review the latest techniques and recently published results for CT-guided cordotomy, CT-guided trigeminal tractotomy, and DREZ operations utilized to treat cancer pain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)477-482
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent pain and headache reports
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2010


  • CT-guided cordotomy
  • CT-guided trigeminal tractotomy
  • Cancer pain
  • DREZ
  • Dorsal root entry zone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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