Top Sector Life Sciences & Health (LSH) entails a broad scope of disciplines, from pharmaceuticals to medical technology and from healthcare infrastructure to vaccination. To realise its mission – vital citizens in a healthy economy - the Top Sector builds on the strengths of the Dutch LSH sector to address the biggest societal challenges in prevention, cure and care. By funding multidisciplinary public-private partnerships (PPPs) the Top Sector aims to facilitate innovation. Here we give an overview of  a number of funded R&D projects by Top Sector LSH. The page is updated continuously.

Stimulation of the pituitary gland for pain reduction in the last phase of life

Pituitary gland stimulation for palliative pain relieve

In this project, together with Ripple LSC and the Factory CRO a dedicated pituitary gland stimulation device will be developed and used in a pilot to achieve pain relieve in palliative cancer patients. Specific stimulation patterns to achieve hormone release are developed to achieve maximum pain relieve with minimum side-effects.

In modern day medicine pain reduction is mostly achieved with opioids. However, these do not always work, can cause severe side-effects. An alternative treatment is necessary for those patients that cannot adequately treated with opioids or alternative analgesics. Moreover, opioids are highly addictive. Currently an opioid epidemic is active with over 40.00 opioid-related deaths in the US alone.

Before the use of opioids became the standard, severe pain in cancer patients was treated with destruction or removal of the pituitary gland. Though highly effective, this caused severe side effect due to hormonal deficits. For a brief period pituitary gland stimulation was performed with great results in Japan. The working mechanism of both treatments was not understood. Based on current knowledge, this project reintroduces pituitary gland stimulation.

This project will result in a dedication pituitary gland stimulation device and optimised stimulation parameters. A pilot study will be performed and assess efficacy and side-effect. Results will be published in a scientific journal.