TRiPP – Translational Research in Pelvic Pain
Chronic pelvic pain is as common as asthma, migraine and back pain and associated with a significant reduction in quality of life, yet it remains a neglected area of research.
TRiPP will focus on two specific types of chronic pain: endometriosis-associated pain (EAP) and bladder pain syndrome (BPS). Both conditions are currently treated by targeting the periphery (the endometriotic lesions in the pelvis or the bladder), but these treatments are often ineffective. The main hypothesis of TRiPP is that the pain symptoms experienced by women with these conditions are generated and maintained by mechanisms similar to those found in other chronic pain conditions, but occur in combination with specific pathological lesions and symptoms. We believe that reconceptualising these conditions in the context of the multisystem dysfunction known for other chronic pain conditions rather than as end-organ pathologies has the potential to revolutionize our understanding of the conditions, allow us to identify meaningful subgroups of patients, develop better preclinical models and thus ultimately facilitate drug development in this field.
Within its three work packages, TRiPP will
- establish perturbations in the function of pain-relevant systems that are specific to EAP and BPS and those that overlap both conditions.
- establish biomarker profiles that are specific to EAP and BPS and those that overlap both conditions.
- establish whether women with EAP and BPS can be stratified into subgroups and explore whether these subgroups relate to treatment response.
- refine existing pre-clinical models of EAP and BPS, with special attention to translational aspects
- validate new read-outs and biomarkers for EAP and BPS models
- assess the reproducibility of identified models and read-outs by a multicentre approach