Investigating multiple myeloma patterns, trends and service provision within the United Kingdom

Aim of project

This project explores the impact of geographical factors and access to healthcare and support services on outcomes for patients with multiple myeloma. This will provide information on the current and future landscape of multiple myeloma in the UK.

Project summary

Research has shown that geography affects both how well patients can access health care services and, ultimately, their health outcomes. However, the impact of geography for UK myeloma patients is not known. This research project will increase our understanding of the services myeloma patients and their family members have access to across the UK. Researchers will use national cancer data sources to look at regional or district variation in the number of people living with multiple myeloma, the number of newly diagnosed patients, and myeloma patient survival. They will look for any trends with age, gender or deprivation and will model how the number of people living with multiple myeloma may change in the years up to 2040. This information is essential in planning future services. For two of the devolved nations, Northern Ireland and Scotland, the research team will develop a more detailed view of the available healthcare and support services. This will help to identify areas where service or support is inadequate. The process of collecting this information will guide plans to extend this assessment to the whole of the UK in the future. Contributing to all of these studies will be the views of patients, captured through an on-line survey. This will help to understand if geographical factors are barriers to accessing myeloma services or have an impact on the quality of life of patients and their families, for example, the distance or cost of travelling to an appointment.

Who is involved with the project

The principal investigator is Dr Charlene McShane, Lecturer in Cancer Epidemiology at Queen’s University Belfast.

Funding and acknowledgments

This is a two-year project with an award of £100,000. This project is supported by funding from Sanofi and Takeda UK Ltd.

How this project will help myeloma patients

This research will bring the myeloma-specific evidence together that is needed to identify and support the key priorities for myeloma healthcare and support across the UK. This will help to make sure that future services are designed to meet the number and needs of myeloma patients and their families.

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