MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The American Foundation for Opioid Alternatives (TAFFOA) donated equipment to the WVU Cancer Institute to provide a non-opioid alternative to chronic pain relief for cancer patients.
The deal will provide the WVU Cancer Institute with “a generator and 20 compression therapy devices – equipment valued at nearly $14,000.” According to Richard Vaglienti, M.D., clinical director of the WVU Medicine Center for Integrative Pain Management, the therapy provided by this equipment will help treat peripheral neuropathy in cancer patients.
“One of the unfortunate results of cancer survival is peripheral neuropathy, and it’s very difficult to treat,” Vaglienti said. “For us to be able to investigate new ways to treat this very, very painful condition is important for us as pain physicians and for us as a comprehensive pain center for West Virginia University.”
Many current cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation, can cause peripheral neuropathy. Symptoms may include pain, tingling, burning, cramps, weakness, and other uncomfortable sensations in the hands and feet.
“I hope this partnership helps grow awareness for our primary mission, which is to help people take less opioids,” TAFFOA co-founder Chaz Jannuzi said. “There are two sides to our mission: It’s helping people remain opioid naïve versus helping people that are already addicted. It’s a great cause, but [it’s better] if you can prevent addiction from happening by preventing someone from taking that first pill.”