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Papers of the Week

Papers: 1 Jul 2023 - 7 Jul 2023


Human Studies, Molecular/Cellular, Neurobiology

Cancer Pain, Musculoskeletal Pain

2023 Jun 29



Understanding the initiation, delivery and processing of bone cancer pain from the peripheral to the central nervous system.


Yang L, Liu B, Zheng S, Xu L, Yao M


Bone cancer pain is a complex condition characterized by persistent, sudden, spontaneous pain accompanied by hyperalgesia that typically arises from bone metastases or primary bone tumors, causing severe discomfort and significantly diminishing cancer patients’ quality of life and confidence in their ability to overcome the disease. It is widely known that peripheral nerves are responsible for detecting harmful stimuli, which are then transmitted to the brain via the spinal cord, resulting in the perception of pain. In the case of bone cancer, tumors and stromal cells within the bone marrow release various chemical signals, including inflammatory factors, colony-stimulating factors, chemokines, and hydrogen ions. Consequently, the nociceptors located at the nerve endings within the bone marrow sense these chemical signals, generating electrical signals that are then transmitted to the brain through the spinal cord. Subsequently, the brain processes these electrical signals in a complex manner to create the sensation of bone cancer pain. Numerous studies have investigated the transmission of bone cancer pain from the periphery to the spinal cord. However, the processing of pain information induced by bone cancer within the brain remains unclear. With the continuous advancements in brain science and technology, the brain mechanism of bone cancer pain would become more clearly understood. Herein, we focus on summarizing the peripheral nerve perception of the spinal cord transmission of bone cancer pain and provide a brief overview of the ongoing research regarding the brain mechanisms involved in bone cancer pain.