Pain is one of the most common symptoms associated with cancer and one of the symptoms patients fear most; unrelieved pain denies them comfort and greatly affects their activities, motivation, interactions with family and friends, and overall quality of life. The importance of relieving pain and availability of effective therapies make it imperative that clinicians caring for cancer patients to be adept at assessing and treating cancer pain. The National Comprehensive Cancer Network Adult Cancer Pain Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology acknowledge the range of complex decisions faced in caring for these patients. As a result, they provide dosing guidelines for NSAIDs, opioids, and adjuvant analgesics. They also provide specific suggestions for escalating opioid dosage, managing opioid toxicity, and when and how to proceed to other techniques to manage cancer pain.

For the most recent version of the guidelines, please visit NCCN.org

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The Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University (www.cancer.northwestern.edu) is the only NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center in Illinois. It is dedicated to scientific discovery, advancing medical knowledge, providing compassionate, state-of-the-art cancer care, and training the next generation of clinicians and scientists.

The Cancer Center and its affiliated hospitals and practices annually treat more than 10,000 new cancer cases, providing an extensive range of treatment and clinical trial options. On the main campus in downtown Chicago, 72 inpatient medical oncology beds will move into the new Prentice Women's Hospital in October, 2007 (third picture on cover). In addition to the new medical oncology rooms, there will be inpatient gynecology beds and expanded outpatient space dedicated to women's cancers and a women's radiation oncology center. This space complements the 32,000 net square foot (NSF) outpatient Cancer Center.

The research efforts of the Cancer Center's 230 members are organized into 10 major programs and annually generate more than $115 in cancer-relevant, extramural funding. A dedicated research facility supports these efforts. In 2005, the Cancer Center occupied 60,000 NSF of laboratory space with the dedication of the 12-story Robert H Lurie Medical Research Center.

Cancer Center director Steven T Rosen, MD, FACP (second photo on cover), is a nationally recognized clinical scientist whose research is focused on biologic therapies of hematologic malignancies. He has published more than 200 peer-reviewed articles and has received recognition from the oncology community.

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