Boston Scientific launches FAST—a new therapy for spinal cord stimulation

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Boston Scientific has announced the European launch of FAST—a new fast-acting sub-perception therapy that the company says is clinically proven to demonstrate significant and sustained pain relief within minutes—for its WaveWriter Alpha Spinal Cord Stimulator (SCS) systems.

While traditional paraesthesia-free therapy can take up to a few days to achieve pain relief, FAST is designed to allow patients to experience paraesthesia-free pain relief in minutes.

The WaveWriter Alpha Spinal Cord Stimulator System was launched last year and is indicated as an aid in the management of chronic intractable pain. SCS therapies are designed to provide pain relief by delivering pulses of mild electric current to the spinal cord to interrupt pain signals traveling to the brain. Chronic pain is defined as continuous and long-term pain lasting more than 12 weeks. In Europe alone it impacts approximately 100 million people.

Jarek Maciaczyk, chair of stereotactic and functional neurosurgery at the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn, in Germany, said: “FAST is a clear advancement in helping patients find pain relief.

“Typically we had to wait a few days to assess the full impact of SCS, but with the targeting and stimulation parameters of FAST we can provide paresthesia-free pain relief within minutes, which helps to evaluate the impact of the treatment in a much shorter timeframe and gives the patients back quality of life almost instantly.”

Research presented at the Society for Neuroscience Conference by Warren Grill’s team out of Duke University (in collaboration with Boston Scientific) found that FAST sub-perception SCS generates rapid analgesia by precisely targeting the axons that engage a surround-inhibition effect —a new proposed mechanism of action for SCS. According to clinical data presented at the North American Neuromodulation Society (NANS) meeting, patients using FAST experienced a reduction of their average pain score from 6.5 to 1.3 in a matter of minutes.

Vincent Sourdaine, vice president of neuromodulation at Boston Scientific, added: “The data showed that 29 of 33 patients (88%) who received FAST Therapy during the trial responded well and reported highly significant pain relief during their SCS trial. While we continue to collect data to support FAST, the early findings show the potential to be a true game-changer for pain patients.”


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