Dr. Niamh Moloney

2015 IASP Early Career Research Grant Winner

Institution: Macquarie University, Sidney, Australia

Project: "Predicting the development of persistent pain after breast cancer treatment"

Dr. Niamh MoloneyOngoing pain is a significant consequence of the life-saving treatment undertaken for breast cancer and affects up to 60% of women following treatment. Currently, identified risk factors do not predict persistent pain after breast cancer treatment (PPBCT) sufficiently. This study will therefore, expand our current knowledge by testing the predictive value of neuropathic pain, dysfunctional pain modulation, and psychological vulnerability on PPBCT. This study will, assess (1) the presence of neuropathic pain, using IASP guidelines for cancer related neuropathic pain, and (2) dysfunctional pain modulation using a conditioned pain modulation protocol. In those with neuropathic pain, sensory hypo- and hyper- phenomena will be recorded. Psychological profiles will be recorded including assessment of stress, anxiety, depression and pain catastrophizing. These variables will be assessed for their contribution to a model for risk factors for PPBCT at three-month and one-year follow up. Understanding risk factors for PPBCT will influence the development and implementation of preventative and early intervention strategies. This project will be overseen by an internationally recognized team with expertise in both pain and breast cancer research, and affiliated with specialist research centres.

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