Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, N.Y.

Dr. Foley on Pain Research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, N.Y.

— -- I'm Dr. Kathleen M. Foley, and I'm an attending neurologist in the pain and palliative care service here at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. I am the previous chief of the service and a previous chief and director of our research program.

Our major focus here is to provide appropriate pain management to patients with cancer and pain. We strongly advocate for this and want to be sure that patients receive effective treatment.

We have a series of research efforts trying to focus on why patients respond to one analgesic drug versus another, and to what their genetic makeup is that may make them more likely to respond to one drug versus another. We have clinical trials as well as basic research focused on opiate receptors which are the sites in the brain that modulate pain relief. With our colleagues in anesthesia, we work closely to be able to provide patients with effective pain relief, to be able to give them the wide range of treatments, be it an anesthetic block, an analgesic drug, alternative medicine approaches.

Our goal basically is to be able to assure patients that they can have effective pain relief throughout the course of their illness, and most importantly, that they be able to get the best cancer care they can receive with effective pain management.