Volunteers needed for complex regional pain syndrome study

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis are seeking volunteers to test an investigational drug for the treatment of complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). The syndrome is a chronic nerve disorder that often affects the arms and legs after injuries such as trauma or infection.

Washington University pain researcher Anthony H. Guarino, M.D., instructor of anesthesiology, is joining scientists from around the country to test the drug called CC-5013.

“These patients can have very severe pain,” Guarino says. “The pain often lingers, and although available drugs can help, some evidence suggests that CC-5013 might have more success regulating this difficult-to-treat pain.”

The drug also is being tested for treatment of various cancers. It is thought to act by regulating certain chemicals produced in the body that contribute to pain and inflammation following injury.

To be eligible for the study, volunteers must be at least 18 years old and have had pain from CRPS for at least one year. Those who qualify will receive a daily dose of either the study medication or an inactive placebo for 12 weeks. After 12 weeks, all study subjects will receive the drug. If the drug is helping to control pain from CRPS, subjects will be able to remain on the drug and in the study for about a year.

Volunteers will receive free study-related physical exams, laboratory tests and investigational study medication. They also will be compensated for time and travel. The study requires visits to the Washington University Pain Management Center, located at 969 N. Mason Rd. Patients will have blood samples drawn and receive electrocardiograms at Barnes-Jewish Hospital West County.

For more information, call study coordinator Martha Cornell at (314) 996-8887.

Washington University School of Medicine’s full-time and volunteer faculty physicians also are the medical staff of Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals. The School of Medicine is one of the leading medical research, teaching and patient care institutions in the nation, currently ranked third in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Through its affiliations with Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals, the School of Medicine is linked to BJC HealthCare