Leech Therapy for Symptomatic Relief of Cancer Pain
Article first published online: 2 MAR 2010
Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Volume 11, Issue 3, pages 443–445, March 2010
How to Cite
Kalender, M. E., Comez, G., Sevinc, A., Dirier, A. and Camci, C. (2010), Leech Therapy for Symptomatic Relief of Cancer Pain. Pain Medicine, 11: 443–445. doi: 10.1111/j.1526-4637.2010.00800.x
- Issue published online: 2 MAR 2010
- Article first published online: 2 MAR 2010
- Cancer Pain;
- Renal Cell Carcinoma
Objective. Most patients with advanced stage cancer report moderate to severe pain. The leech (Hirudo medicinalis) is commonly used in traditional medicine for relief of localized pain.
Design. We report a case of severe pain related to advanced stage cancer successfully treated by self-applied leeches.
Setting and Patients. A 62-year-old male patient with synchronous renal cell carcinoma and leiomyosarcoma was admitted with severe pain in the lumbar region. The pain was refractory to radiotherapy, and systemic and epidural analgesic infusion.
Results. Two months the patient came to the clinic in good condition free of pain. The patient reported outpatient self-treatment with seven leeches to the lumbar region in the interim that resulted in complete healing of pain.
Conclusions. This is the first report indicating possible activity of leeches in cancer pain.