Patients with rare form of bone marrow cancer set to take part in Manchester study thanks to £118,000 charity grant
A Manchester Royal Infirmary (MRI) consultant is
the chief investigator of a new £118,000 grant-funded study aimed
at supporting frail patients with myeloma.
The money, from the
Myeloma UK Health Services Research Programme, will fund a two
year study looking at developing new strategies for identifying and
tackling the causes and impact of frailty in patients with multiple
myeloma. It will involve 80 patients who are treated at MRI.
Myeloma is a rare form of bone marrow cancer that currently
affects 17,500 people in the UK, and over 1000 people¹ in the
Greater Manchester area. It is a relapsing and remitting cancer
which is more prevalent in people aged 70 or over.
Frailty which affects around 30% of patients is associated with
increased drug-related toxicity, where patients are unable to
tolerate chemotherapy, poor quality of life and health
Dr Alberto Rocci, Consultant Haematologist and Myeloma Lead at
MRI, is the chief investigator of the study. He
To date there has been little research into how best to care for
frailer myeloma patients, despite such patients often having fewer
treatment options and poorer experiences and quality of life.
"This 'real-world' study is being delivered in collaboration
with Dr John Burthem at the Institute of Cancer Sciences, The
University of Manchester and Professor Paul Shiels at the Institute
of Cancer Sciences, University of Glasgow. It will look for signs
of frailty in myeloma patients. To do this, we will conduct
specific blood tests to evaluate innovative biomarkers and look at
things like how long it takes a patient to walk a certain distance.
After collecting and analysing patient data, we hope to develop a
simple screening test to help assess and monitor patients at risk
"The results of this initial study will move our approach
towards a more personalised treatment and will provide the
rationale to develop future strategies to treat the causes of
frailty and improve quality of life and survival for patients with
Sarah Richard, Myeloma UK Health Services
Research Manager, added: "Frail patients account for
almost a third of all myeloma cases and yet they tend to have a
poorer quality of life, fewer treatment options available to them,
and to be under-represented in clinical trials, because of the
impact some treatments may have on their body.
"We are thrilled to be working with Manchester Royal Infirmary
on this research project, and we hope that findings will inform
solutions that will substantially improve patients' experiences and
in the longer term, their outcomes."
The data collected through this study will be used to identify
markers of frailty, and to develop a screening test to assess and
monitor patients' frailty.
The Health Services Research programme at Myeloma UK focuses on
obtaining high quality evidence to help improve patient outcomes,
wellbeing and quality of life, and looks to shape improvements in
the way healthcare is funded and delivered.
Following a competitive open grant round, the MRI study was one
of two research proposals to be awarded funding.
¹ Prevalence statistic from Macmillan-NCIN Cancer
Prevalence Project, 2010