Boosting key myeloma datasets may enhance patient outcomes

Research data held within the Clinical Immunology Service will be transformed into an important resource for myeloma research thanks to new funding.

Researcher working with a microscope in a laboratory wearing blue gloves.

Funding from the Cancer Research Horizon’s Data Innovation Award will support Professor Alex Richter, Dr Jennifer Heaney and Dr Tracey Chan to develop the Integrated UK Myeloma Trials Resource. This unique facility will unlock access to the data and samples held by the Clinical Immunology Service having provided 30 years of central laboratory analysis for UK myeloma trials. 

“These trials have been pivotal in improving both treatment and testing strategies for patients with myeloma. However, it remains an incurable cancer and we still need to find more ways to improve the lives of people living with myeloma,” says Dr Tracey Chan.

This grant enables us to turn decades of collected data and samples into a robust resource for further advancing myeloma research. Our goal is to leverage this information to make meaningful strides in patient outcomes.

Professor Alex Richter, University of Birmingham

The £75k award supports researchers from University of Birmingham, in collaboration with the University of Leeds Clinical Trials Research Unit and the University of Warwick Clinical Trials Unit to curate an integrated bioresource valuable to the national and international myeloma research community. 

The team will also be supported to develop a long-term data-sharing strategy including governance around how academics and industry will be able to apply for access. The award will support establishing consent and background agreement status, across trials, to ensure that all the necessary approvals and rights are in place to enable safe, secure and transparent data access for appropriate third parties, including commercial entities.

The UK Myeloma Research Alliance will collaborate on the project, with the team’s ultimate vision being to link the Integrated UK Myeloma Trials Resource to wider clinical data sets providing an unparalleled resource to interrogate across numerous clinical trials. This will lay the foundations to support biobanking for all future myeloma trials in the UK to leverage maximum benefit for patients.

Research data, including clinical/patient and discovery datasets, is becoming an increasingly important tool in cancer research and has the potential to significantly improve patient outcomes. 

The aim of the Data Innovation Awards is to maximise the impact of data collected or generated under CRUK-funded research projects that may have commercial value.