Selected by a jury of excellence then labeled in 2016 by the National Alliance for Life Sciences and Health (AVIESAN), the FHU INOVPAIN is a structure bringing together clinicians, researchers, academics and companies around a common theme. : pain. This multidisciplinary network of experts collaborates in a synergistic and effective way on the characterization of patients suffering from refractory chronic pain and on the development of new evaluation tools and therapeutic solutions, thus justifying the name "Innovative solutions in refractory chronic pain”.

Healthcare Project

The Health project aims to structure a regional medico-surgical platform dedicated to the care of patients suffering from refractory chronic pain by providing:

  • multidisciplinary expertise to validate the diagnostic criteria for the refractory nature of chronic pain, allowing it to be defined and to recognize it in a more relevant way.
  • an expert opinion to detect the resistance phenotype in refractory chronic pain patients. Early identification of refractory patients will prevent the proliferation and abuse of ineffective treatments.
  • Multidisciplinary expertise to offer appropriate and personalized therapeutic solutions, based on the most recent medical practices proven to be the most effective. There are also new analgesic drugs and neuromodulation technics.
  • The monitoring of a cohort of chronic pain patients via data collection.

Research Project

The research project interacts closely with the healthcare project to build an effective translational program:

  • to develop new tools for the assessment of patients with refractory chronic pain, including cognitive, behavioral and emotional assessments and connected devices.
  • to identify clinical, cognitive and psychosocial aspects, neuroimaging and biological biomarkers of the refractory phenotype of patients with chronic pain, from data extracted from the patient cohort database and a tissue collection. and evaluate in animals and patients new innovative pharmacological solutions with high translational potential.
  • to develop and/or evaluate neurostimulation techniques in patients with refractory chronic pain, including stimulation of the occipital nerve and other peripheral targets in primary headaches, and deep brain stimulation or peripheral nerve stimulation in neuropathic pain.
  • using 1) ex vivo and in vivo modeling in animals 2) statistical modeling and machine learning and 3) anatomical and functional neuroimaging studies (structural connectivity via diffusion MRI and tractography, functional MRI and PET Scan studies) to better understand the mechanisms of action of neurostimulation techniques and to optimize their parameters.
  • to promote "proof of concept" clinical studies in patients with chronic refractory pain and facilitate technology transfer in the field of chronic pain, thanks to a reinforced partnership with the main neurostimulation companies (Medtronic, ST Jude Medical, ATI) or emerging local companies (Axonic).

Teaching project

This project aims to :

  • strengthen our participation and / or coordination of regional and national educational programs dedicated to the management of pain in medical studies, currently undergoing a profound transformation.
  • promote a multidisciplinary training axis dedicated to the 3 refractory chronic pain and innovative solutions and to integrate this track into several training programs, including regional and national master's courses.
  • develop international undergraduate pain training programs for medical and science students ( using MOOCs and SPOCs) and a postgraduate teaching program, through the organization of an annual seminar focusing on innovation in the management of refractory chronic pain. developing a patient education program dedicated to the neurostimulation of refractory chronic pain patients.
  • disseminate information to the general public on the chronic pain in general, and more specifically on chronic intractable pain, neuropathic pain, migraine, cluster headache and neurostimulation, through several events, workshops and conferences.
So, the FHU INOVPAIN makes it possible to bring fundamental research closer to its practical applications at the patient's bedside, to facilitate preclinical and clinical studies on chronic neuropathic pain and primary headaches, to contribute to promoting ambitious national or European projects, to improve the training of medical students and surgeons and promote the international visibility of our teaching hospitals and universities in the field of refractory chronic pain.