Newswise — ASRA has awarded the 2018 Chronic Pain Medicine Research Grant to Eellan Sivanesan, MD, for a project looking at the effectiveness of spinal cord stimulation (SCS) for the treatment of chemotherapy-induced painful neuropathy (CIPN). Sivanesan is an assistant professor in the department of anesthesiology and critical care medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, MD.

Sivanesan and his team of researchers will receive $200,000 to conduct their “Preclinical study of spinal cord stimulation for the attenuation of chemotherapy induced painful neuropathy (CIPN) and increased chemotherapeutic efficacy.” The study will look at preemptive SCS for the prevention of CIPN, a common side effect of paclitaxel administration that can significantly affect quality of life. Symptoms include pain, numbness, and cold sensitivity in the hands and feet.

The study will also look at the role of SCS in changing chemosensitivity and tumor growth. Sivanesan and his team hypothesize that SCS will reduce genetic changes in the dorsal root ganglion and spinal cord, suppress tumor growth, and increase chemosensitivity. If this holds true, SCS would become a potential weapon in the fight against cancer.

Co-investigators on the project are Yun Gan, MD, PhD, associate professor, and Srinivasa Raja, MD, professor, both from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

ASRA’s Chronic Pain Medicine Research Grant is designed to promote and facilitate high-quality research in pain medicine to guide clinical practice for pain physicians and improve patient health care. The grant, which provides up to $200,000 in funds, is awarded biennially to ASRA members. For more information, visit