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Papers of the Week

Papers: 10 Jul 2021 - 16 Jul 2021

Pharmacology/Drug Development


J Pain Res


The Role of Anti-Nerve Growth Factor Monoclonal Antibodies in the Control of Chronic Cancer and Non-Cancer Pain.


Bimonte S, Cascella M, Forte C A, Esposito G, Cuomo A
J Pain Res. 2021; 14:1959-1967.
PMID: 34234542.


Nerve growth factor (NGF) belongs to the neurotrophin family and plays a fundamental role in the endurance of sensory and sympathetic neurons during embryogenesis. NGF, by interacting with tropomyosin receptor kinase A receptor (TrkA), modulates the pain pathway through the enhancement of the neurotrophic and nociceptor functions. Moreover, it has been demonstrated that NGF is upregulated in patients with chronic pain syndromes, which are difficult to treat. Thus, new non-pharmacological approaches, based on the use of different species-specific monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) targeting the NGF pathway, have been tested for the treatment of chronic pain in preclinical and clinical studies. With regard to preclinical investigations, anti-NGF mAbs have been used for the management of osteoarthritis (OA) and chronic low back pain animal models, with encouraging results. Moreover, anti-NGF mAb therapy is effective in animal models of neuropathic cancer pain. As regards patients with OA, although phase II and phase III clinical trials with tanezumab led to pain reduction, the safety was not observed in all these patients. Here, we review the preclinical and clinical studies on anti-NGF mAb therapy in chronic syndromes, dissect the role of NGF in pain transduction, and highlight the use of anti-NGF mAbs in humans.