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New Hope for Relief of Chronic Sciatica
Date:4/30/2009

tients with intractable sciatica, back and neck pain(3,4,5,6). This type of off-label use is an example of a repositioned use of an existing therapeutic, a topic of increasing interest to the pharmaceutical industry(7).

Also this week, in the May 5, 2009 issue of the journal Neuroscience, Kato and colleagues from the University of California, San Diego(8) reported that locally administered etanercept reaches the inside of injured nerves and reduces pain-related behavior in animals. The Neuroscience study cites three of the previous scientific publications of Dr. Tobinick(3,5,6). These new studies therefore provide further scientific support for the concept of local therapeutic administration of etanercept for disc-related pain.

These publications provide substantial new scientific data. However, FDA-approval is a long and difficult process, and prior to approval drug manufacturers are prohibited by the FDA from promoting any off-label use of any of their medications to the public. Nevertheless, the prospect of a new, non-surgical approach for chronic sciatica is exciting, and further investigation is already underway.

References

1. Cohen, S.P., N. Bogduk, A. Dragovich, C.C. Buckenmaier, 3rd, S. Griffith, C. Kurihara, J. Raymond, P.J. Richter, N. Williams, and T.L. Yaksh, Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, dose-response, and preclinical safety study of transforaminal epidural etanercept for the treatment of sciatica. Anesthesiology, 2009. 110(5): p. 1116-26.
2. U.S. patent 6,419,944, filed April 5, 2001; also 6,537,549; and 6,982,089, issued to Edward Tobinick MD and assigned to TACT IP, LLC, and additional patents and related applications, assigned to TACT IP, LLC.   
3. Tobinick, E.L. and S. Britschgi-Davoodifar, Perispinal TNF-alpha inhibition for discogenic pain. Swiss Med Wkly, 2003. 133(11-12): p. 170-7.
4. Tobinick, E.L., Targeted etanercept for discogenic neck pain: uncontrolled, open-
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