Innovative pain relief therapy for the first time in Poland

On June 11 and 19 this year, implantable infusion pumps for the treatment of chronic pain were implanted at the Infant Jesus Clinical Hospital UCC MUW. The devices were implanted in two patients suffering from cancer pain.

Both patients are being treated at the Pain Management Clinic of the 1st Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care at the Infant Jesus Clinical Hospital. Having exhausted the possibilities of effective pharmacotherapy and available non-pharmacological methods of treating pain, the patients agreed to an innovative treatment with zyconotide (the active ingredient) administered by continuous infusion into the subarachnoid space. This therapy is registered in Europe, and was used in Poland for the first time.

The cost of the drug was covered by the National Health Fund under the Emergency Access to Drug Technology (RDTL), and the implantable pump was donated by Medtronic Poland as a donation. As a result, both patients were given the chance to receive zyconotide (the active ingredient), an innovative pain relief therapy in Poland. In the perioperative period, they were hospitalized in the Intensive Care Unit of the 1st Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care of the Infant Jesus Clinical Hospital UCC MUW, Headed by Janusz Trzebicki, MD, PhD. On the other hand, the procedures were carried out in the operating theater of the Department of Orthopedics and Traumatology of the Infant Jesus Clinical Hospital UCC MUW.

The implantation of the pumps was performed by a team of anesthesiologists treating patients at the Pain Management Clinic: Dariusz Kosson, MD, PhD, and Dr. Marcin Kołacz with support from neurosurgery specialist Professor Bogdan Ciszek. During the first procedure, substantial support was provided by Dr. Denis Dupoiron, an anesthesiologist from the Institut de Cancerologie de I'Ouest Paul Papin in Angers, France, with whom Dariusz Kosson, MD, PhD, and Dr. Marcin Kołacz trained in treating chronic pain with the above method.
Instrumenting nurses: Grażyna Sobieraj, Małgorzata Kubiś, Iwona Kurzawa and Justyna Kogut participated in the procedures.
Regional and general anesthesia was carried out by an anesthesiology team consisting of: Dr. Marek Janiak, Dr. Grzegorz Górniewski, Marek Paśnicki, MD, resident physician Yuliia Zhurovska, and anesthesiology nurse Olga Ortiz Ortiz.
Zyconotide solution to fill the pump was prepared at the pharmacy of the Infant Jesus Clinical Hospital.

Currently, the patients are on outpatient titration of an adequate dose of zyconotide (the active ingredient), which is carried out at the Pain Management Clinic, but it can already be said that both cases have achieved a significant reduction in the opioid analgesics they were previously taking, with a concomitant reduction in pain.  

Poland has joined the group of countries using modern technologies and measures in pain therapy.