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From the Haematological Malignancy Research Network: Expanded Database May Yield Insights in Myeloma

By: Julia Fiederlein
Posted: Wednesday, June 15, 2022

The Haematological Malignancy Research Network, an ongoing population-based United Kingdom cohort, is currently tracking approximately 38,000 patients who were diagnosed with a blood cancer or related disorder between 2004 and 2019. Eve Roman, PhD, of the University of York, United Kingdom, and colleagues have expanded this regional database to match each of those diagnosed between 2009 and 2015 (n = 18,127) with 10 randomly selected cancer-free controls from the National Health Service Central Register. This cohort profile update, which was published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, has the potential to yield insight into the health of patients with multiple myeloma.

“This expanded database is a fantastic resource, allowing us to compare the health of those who have blood cancer to those who do not—both in the years before the cancer is diagnosed and the years after,” Dr. Roman stated in a University of York press release. “It provides an unparalleled opportunity to address real questions of concern to clinicians, patients, and researchers.”

Information on background hospital attendance levels has been used to compare the mortality and morbidity of the general population with those of patients with premalignancies, such as monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance and monoclonal B-cell lymphocytosis, before and after diagnosis. Moreover, researchers have examined the relationship between mature B-cell malignancies and preceding rheumatologic disorders using outpatient Hospital Episode Statistics data.

“So far, many of the findings have been striking and unexpected,” Dr. Roman commented. “We are currently examining longer-term health looking, for example, to see whether the health of patients successfully treated for cancer ever returns to the level it would have been, had they not had cancer.”

Disclosure: The study authors reported no conflicts of interest.

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