Myeloma UK Launches Research Program Focused on Trial Design

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by Mary Chapman |

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In a continuing effort to support and advance early-phase multiple myeloma studies in the United Kingdom, Myeloma UK is launching a patient-focused research program.

Called the UK Myeloma Research Alliance-Myeloma UK-Concept and Access Research Program (UKMRA-Myeloma UK-CARP), the grant initiative seeks to build upon the success of the 10-year-old Myeloma UK Clinical Trials Network (CTN). One of the nonprofit Myeloma UK’s strategic goals is to find answers through investment in investigations, particularly clinical trials.

Through UKMRA-Myeloma UK-CARP, research grants are open to scientists or hospitals aiming to begin a Phase 1 or Phase 2 clinical trial. Usually in Phase 1 studies, the goal is to find the best dose for a new treatment. That dosage is then tested in Phase 2 studies to learn more about the prospective therapy’s safety and efficacy.

Under the program, proposed trials must address an unmet patient need, support access to treatment through the National Health Service, or generate proof-of-concept data for larger, later trials. The program is being touted as the only initiative in the U.K. focused on development of early-phase multiple myeloma trials. The program also aims to put the U.K. at the forefront of myeloma research, so that patients can get early access to experimental therapies.

”From a health service research perspective, we are pleased to launch a research program which is not only designed [to] generate the best results for patients, but also fully incorporates patients and carers throughout trial design,” Jayne Galinsky, PhD, health services research manager at Myeloma UK, said in a news release.

The initiative’s collaborative model combines Myeloma UK’s funding and patient insight with the experience and expertise of the University of Leeds Clinical Trials Research Unit and the UK Myeloma Research Alliance, a clinical research cooperative. The effort will explore innovative study designs such as adaptive trials, during which investigators have the flexibility to adjust treatments based on patient responses.

”The UKMRA-Myeloma UK-CARP will help improve myeloma treatments, innovate myeloma research and give U.K. myeloma patients access to new treatments or treatment combinations as part of trials,” Myeloma UK’s website states.

Established in 2009, the collaborative CTN has resulted in nine early-phase clinical trials at more than 40 sites and including some 700 patients.

“Building on what has already been achieved through the Myeloma UK Clinical Trials Network, we can develop a strong portfolio of early-phase trials through UKMRA-Myeloma UK-CARP and crucially, link these directly to the development of late-phase trials through the UKMRA to change clinical practice and patient outcomes,” said Gordon Cook, chair of the initiative.

The program is an opportunity for early-career researchers or clinicians to gain trial experience. For more information about applying, contact the University of Leeds Clinical Trials Research Unit.