Dr Karthik Ramasamy from the Cancer and Haematology Centre, Oxford University Hospitals has joined forces with Kwee Yong (University College London) and Irene Ghobrial (Harvard University) on a 5-year, £3.2million programme of research to understand progression from pre-malignant blood conditions to multiple myeloma. 10-18% patients with smouldering myeloma, one of these pre-malignant conditions, progress to multiple myeloma every year during the first few years after diagnosis. Because it is currently not known why some people progress, whereas others do not, all are actively monitored via blood tests 1-4 times per year, putting a huge burden on the NHS and increasing patient anxiety.
This team of researchers are seeking to identify the characteristics of smouldering myeloma that are associated with low-risk indolent disease or the likelihood of progression to multiple myeloma. They will focus on genomic factors, imaging, liquid biopsy and the immune environment to build an integrative risk model for disease progression. Identification of those who are truly at risk for progression has the potential to improve clinical management and enhance earlier detection, which will benefit prognosis and survival of those who do develop multiple myeloma.
This research programme is funded by a CRUK Early Detection Programme Award. If you are an Oxford-based researcher thinking of applying for external early detection funding, please get in touch with the OxCODE Scientific Coordinator who can help to coordinate your application.