BRUSSELS, 2 September 2019 – New research into objective measurement of pain could be a ‘game-changer’ for patients, delegates at the European Pain Federation’s biennial Congress in Valencia, Spain, will be told.

Until now, a patient’s experience of pain has always been subjective, relying upon their personal feeling and communication of the experience. However, a research project by the international consortium IMI-PainCare is aiming to identify biomarkers for pain. Biomarkers, such as proteins or hormones or pharmacodynamic measurements such as brain imaging, can enable objective measurement of a particular disease state.

The project coordinator, Professor Rolf-Detlef Treede, the Chair of Neurophysiology at the Center for Biomedicine and Medical Technology in Mannheim, Germany, will be one of the first to present the project at the EFIC Congress.

“Biomarkers for pain would be a complete game-changer, potentially providing us with an objective measurement of pain for the first time, allowing us to compare the severity of conditions and the efficacy of treatments and services” said Professor Treede.

“If the same patient reported outcomes are used universally, we will be better able to compare the performance of pain services and treatments, across many types of pain condition,” he added.

Other highlights at the Congress include presentations on the latest advances in neurostimulation; the relation between gender and migraines; how pain is experienced differently between different age-groups; how the evolution of digital healthcare will impact pain treatment; and ‘is there an opioid crisis in Europe’.

The Congress, between 4-7 September, is the largest scientific congress on pain in 2019 and brings together the most recognised experts in the field of pain medicine to exchange knowledge, ideas and the latest advances in the field.

More information:

This project has received funding from the Innovative Medicines Initiative 2 Joint Undertaking under grant agreement No [777500]. This Joint Undertaking receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and EFPIA.


For more information, contact: Vittoria Carraro ( or Sam Kynman (

To interview Professor Rolf-Detlef Treede, contact Dennis Landsbert-Noon (


Notes for editors:

  1. The European Pain Federation (EFIC) is a multidisciplinary professional organisation in the field of pain research and medicine. Established in 1993, EFIC constituent chapters represent Pain Societies from 37 European countries and close to 20,000 physicians, basic researchers, nurses, physiotherapists, psychologists and other healthcare professionals across Europe, who are involved in pain management and pain research.
  2. The IMI-PAINCARE Consortium is composed of 40 participants from 14 countries; 6 are EFPIA (European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations) participants with strong traditions in pain research and development, 23 are internationally renowned academic and clinical institutions, 5 are specialist SMEs with cutting-edge technologies, 3 are patient organizations and 3 are professional pain/anaesthesia societies.


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