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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Opening Remarks and Introductions
Dr. Story Landis, Director, NINDS opened the meeting.

Dr. Linda Porter (NINDS) introduced the new pain analyst: Dr. Cheryse Sankar.  Dr. Sankar received her doctorate in Pharmacology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at NINDS in the lab of Dr. David Sibley. She was an AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow at the National Cancer Institute prior to joining Dr. Porter in the pain policy office.  She will assist Dr. Porter with the management, coordination and analysis of the NIH Pain Consortium as well as the Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee (IPRCC).

Proposal for Pain Imaging Open-access database

Dr. James Bjork (NIDA) presented a proposal to create a pain fMRI data-sharing consortium that would allow open access to qualified investigators. The proposed consortium would serve as a centralized portal for well-annotated, harmonized imaging and phenotypic data across pain research sites.  A data-access committee would be established to ensure data quality and harmonization. Dr. Bjork informally contacted pain neuroimaging researchers and found that they were responsive to an open access database.  Several investigators with large datasets (>1000 patients/controls combined) already had existing data sharing infrastructure.  The LONI database created by UCLA is one such example. The Pain Consortium members were enthusiastic about creating a data repository.  The next steps will be to identify members for a working group to further develop the proposal to present to the consortium for consideration to move the project forward.

Common Fund Research Collaboratory and Pragmatic Pain Trials

Dr. Josie Briggs (Director, NCCAM) and Dr. Linda Porter reported information about an NIH common fund project called the Health Care Systems (HCS) Research Collaboratory. The goal of this program is to strengthen the national capacity to implement cost-effective large-scale research studies that engage health care delivery organizations as research partners.  As such, an initiative was created to fund pragmatic clinical trials demonstration projects.  Of the seven phased project awards, two of them are focused on pain. The ‘Pragmatic Trial of Lumbar Image Reporting with Epidemiology’ project is headed by Jeffrey Jarvik at the University of Washington. The overall goal of the project is to perform a large, pragmatic, randomized controlled trial to determine the effectiveness of a simple, inexpensive and easy to deploy intervention - of inserting epidemiological benchmarks into lumbar spine imaging reports - at reducing subsequent tests and treatments.  The ‘Collaborative Care for Chronic Pain in Primary Care’ project is headed by Lynn Larson Debar from the Kaiser Foundation Research Institute. This proposal aims to test the effectiveness and implementation of an evidence-based multidisciplinary pain management approach in the primary care setting (the “Pain Program for Active Coping and Training”, or PPACT) within integrated health plans. These two projects were awarded for their planning phase and will be considered along with the other five projects for funding to complete the full trials. 

Pain Consortium Sponsored Supplement in “Nature”

The Pain Consortium will sponsor a stand-alone publication by the journal Nature that will provide a collection of relevant articles on pain research recently published in various Nature journals. The NIH Pain Consortium Executive committee will review and approve the list for inclusion in the published supplement. It is expected to be released on-line in March 2013.

Update on the 8th Annual NIH Pain Consortium Symposium 2013

Dr. Porter provided an update on the upcoming symposium scheduled for May 29-30th at the Natcher Auditorium (NIH campus).  Following a symposium planning meeting, it was determined that the format for the symposium will remain the same as 2012: one and a half days with three panel sessions. The Symposium will highlight research on multidisciplinary strategies for pain self-management. The panel sessions will be integrated thematically with a background presentation from an expert in the field followed by three focused presentations on NIH funded research.  In addition, there will be junior investigator poster sessions, oral presentations and an award process.  The American Pain Society will again be invited to present on a topic of their choice.

Update on Centers for Excellence in Pain Education

Dr. Donna Messersmith (Palladian) presented an update on the Centers of Excellence for Pain Education (CoEPEs).  The case development process for the case studies that will be used in the Centers’ educational materials was presented. The NIH Pain Consortium members will review both an early draft (outlines) and later draft (full content) of the materials. NIH Pain Consortium members may ask others to assist in reviews for which they have been selected, based on appropriateness of content for their institute. After the content is revised, it will be converted into a standardized format with a software program called Storyline.  The NIH Pain Consortium subcommittee will review final drafts of cases and approve the educational value of the information provided.

Update on Consensus Workshop on Opioids and Chronic Pain

Dr. Richard Denisco (NIDA) provided an update on this workshop.  The meeting will be an evidence-based methodology workshop.  There will be a steering committee and topic nominations.  Some potential topics include: Efficacy of opioids for treating chronic pain; How to optimally administer opioids; Curtailing opioid treatment; Population differences in opioid response; and available training for patients and prescription providers. Current research findings will be reviewed in detail to help answer questions listed above. The Pain Consortium will sponsor a topic and participate in the workshop planning.  The proposed timeline for the conference is in Fall 2013.  Following the conference, participants will reconvene to finalize the findings and the Pain Consortium will disseminate the findings.  Submissions for the steering committee chair and members are currently being sought.     

Important Dates for 2013

NIH Pain Consortium Symposium May 29, 30, 2013 Natcher Auditorium

Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee, June 3, 2013 Bldg 31 C Room 10