The rapidly evolving field of Palliative Care focuses on the management of phenomena that produce discomfort and that undermine the quality of life of patients with incurable medical disorders. The interdisciplinary clinical purview includes those factors - physical, psychological, social, andspiritual - that contribute to suffering, undermine quality of life, and prevent a death with comfort and dignity. Palliative Care is a fundamental part of clinical practice, the "parallel universe" to therapies directed at cure or prolongation of life. All clinicians who treat patients with chroniclife-threatening diseases are ingaged in palliative care, continually attempting to manage complex symptomatology and functional disturbances. The scientific foundation of palliative care is advancing, and similarly, methods are needed to highlight, for practitioners at the bedside, the findings of empirical research. TOPICS IN PALLIATIVE CARE has been designed to meet the need for enhanced communication in this field. To highlight the diversity of concerns in palliative care, each volume of the TOPICS IN PALLIATIVE CARE Series is divided into sections that address a range of issues. Addressing aspects of symptom control, psychosocial functioning, spiritual or existential concerns, ethics, and other topics, thechapters in each section review the given area and focus on a small number of salient issues to analysis. The authors present and evaluate existing data, provide a context drawn from both the clinical and research settings, and integrate knowledge in a manner that is both practical and readable. Thespecific topics covered in Volume 2 are Neuropathic Pain, Cachexia/Anorexia, Asthenia, and Psychological Issues in the Caregiver.