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New Myeloma UK Research Programme set to transform diagnosis

Research news // 9th May 2022

Myeloma UK has launched a new Early Diagnosis Research Programme, which aims to find new, better approaches to diagnosis, so more patients get a timely diagnosis.

An early diagnosis gives patients the best chance of living a long, full life. This is because as myeloma advances, it becomes harder to treat and more likely to cause long-term problems with severe fatigue, pain, and mobility.

The Research Programme, part of Myeloma UK’s ongoing Early Diagnosis Programme, is investing £500,000 in two innovative research projects

The first project, led by Prof Chris Bunce at the University of Birmingham, aims to help address two of the main barriers to a myeloma screening programme, making screening more feasible.

The second project, led by Prof Kwee Yong at University College London, will help develop tools to accurately predict the patients likely to develop cancer and treatments to slow down or prevent the development of myeloma.

 

Shelagh McKinlay, Acting Director of Research and Patient Advocacy, Myeloma UK

“The early symptoms are vague, and myeloma is relatively rare, so it is difficult to suspect, and, while education and policy change is really important, to make big changes, we need research. We need to discover new, better approaches to spot myeloma as early as possible so we can intervene before people get seriously ill. We hope this work will deliver the transformative change needed to improve myeloma diagnosis and give every patient the best chance of a long life, free from restrictive complications caused by late diagnosis.”

Prof Kwee Yong, Consultant Haematologist, University College London Hospitals

“We were thrilled to be the successful applicants of the Myeloma UK Early Diagnosis Research funding call and are grateful to Myeloma UK for having the vision and the foresight to fund work in early diagnosis for myeloma. We hope that with the results of our work, we can make a real difference to the outcome of our patients with smouldering myeloma and with myeloma.”

Prof Chris Bunce, Professor of Translational Cancer Biology, University of Birmingham

“I am delighted to have this funding from Myeloma UK. It has broken some resistance that we’ve been feeling and is actually quite a courageous step to support this innovation that could find out what we need to have in place to be able to instigate screening and how we could intervene early and prevent myeloma from occurring in the first place. This is an immensely challenging but important research question to tackle.”

Watch the recorded Early Diagnosis Research Event to find out more about the Myeloma UK Early Diagnosis Research Programme.