ESTEVE and MEDTRONIC have started an initiative to improve the pathway of patients with refractory cancer pain across Europe. Although most cancer sufferers respond well to conventional analgesic pharmacotherapy, between 22% and 26% of cancer sufferers do not obtain adequate analgesia and/or experience intolerable adverse reactions with systemic drugs, especially opioids¹

Cancer patients suffering from refractory severe pain, as our focus

Refractory pain is highly devastating for all patients, but especially for those, who are going through a cancer condition. As global health companies, it is our aim and responsibility to advance towards giving patients, families and caregivers a better life relieving suffering. For that, it is essential to improve interdisciplinary collaboration between oncology services and pain specialty units to improve pain management care.

The cancer sufferer pathway is complex. Real practice often shows that most of who suffers oncological pain are referred too late to the pain specialist units or palliative care². Time is specifically challenging to ensure they could benefit from recognized therapies that have demonstrated outcomes in cancer pain analgesia³.

This new partnership of Medtronic and ESTEVE aims to increase awareness of cancer pain as well as aiming to optimize the timely use of intrathecal drug delivery (IDD) therapy for patients suffering from complex and refractory pain induced by cancer or cancer treatment. To change the paradigm on cancer pain, the two companies will involve European experts, with the goal of reaching a consensus on cancer pain management.

"This agreement shows that we are continuing to work towards our goal of improving patients' life, and in this particular case, of improving the quality of life of cancer patients. We are proud of this alliance with Medtronic as working in collaboration with leading companies helps us leverage synergies to cover health unmet needs", says Jordi Muntañola, ESTEVE's Chief Commercial Officer.

"Cancer diseases are complex and challenging conditions requiring a multi-disciplinary approach and collaboration. To change the paradigm and expand the cancer pain IDD therapy we have found in ESTEVE a trusted and committed partner. We will work closely together to build a new workforce to change how cancer pain is treated and inspire hope", says Bart Stulens, Senior Director, Neuromodulation Western Europe at Medtronic.


1. Corli et al. Are strong opioids equally effective and safe in the treatment of chronic cancer pain? A multicentre randomized phase IV 'real life' trial on the variability of response to opioids. Annals of Oncology 27: 1107–1115, 2016

2. Breivik H. et al. Cancer-related pain: a pan-European survey of prevalence, treatment, and patient attitudes. Annals of Oncology 2009;20(8): 1420-33.

3. Perruchoud C., Dupoiron D., Papi B., Calabrese A., Brogan S.E. 2021. Management of cancer-related pain with intrathecal drug delivery: a systematic review and meta-analysis of clinical studies. Neuromodulation 2021; 1-11.